A few days after autumn showed up on the calendar in the Northern Hemisphere, it showed up on the landscape of North America. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured these views of fall colors around the Great Lakes (September 26) and New England (September 27, 2014). The brown and orange shades are most pronounced in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northern Wisconsin, upstate New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and southern Quebec and Ontario. You can also see faint traces of phytoplankton blooms in the lakes and offshore in the North Atlantic.
The changing of leaf color in temperate forests involves several causes and reactions, but the dominant factors are sunlight and heat. Since temperatures tend to drop sooner and sunlight fades faster at higher latitudes, the progression of fall color changes tends to move from north to south across North America from mid-September through mid-November. Read more
See an animation of the changing colors on this article from the Huffington Post.