Western Maryland’s fall colors are juuuuuuuust starting to change

28 September 2023- Most of us are rejoicing after seeing the sun for the first time in days. Tropical Storm Ophelia brought drenching rain to Maryland’s coastal region last weekend, with additional rain stretching into the western portion of our state. The rainy days and cloudy skies continued for much of the week, providing much needed moisture to areas experiencing drought conditions. While this last batch of rain won’t be enough to offset the previous weeks of dry weather, it has made an impact on foliage in the region.

Western Maryland

The western region of our state, typically the first to see peak fall foliage conditions is beginning to see the seasonal transition come to life.  Aaron Cook, Forester at Indian Creek Wildlife Management Area, took the opportunity to snap this photo during a break in rainfall from the storm: “Flowering dogwoods all around my area are just about at their peak, albeit a little duller this year.”

A flowering dogwood tree, similar to those in Washington County and across Western Maryland

Melissa Nash, Forester in Garrett and Allegany counties, reports an increase in fall color in Garrett County, and she is optimistic about the impact recent rainfall will have on fall foliage: “Hopefully it has been enough to help improve color conditions for the remainder of the season!”

Watch the Sky

Stargazers in Maryland will enjoy a Full Moon, also known as a Harvest Moon in the Northern Hemisphere, on Friday, September 29. The moon will be fully illuminated at 5:58 a.m. prior to moonset at 8:21 a.m. EST. According to NASA, this upcoming supermoon will be 224,854 miles from Earth and appear about 5% bigger and 13% brighter than the average full moon in 2023. This is the last supermoon of 2023, but unfortunately the weather forecast looks less than ideal for viewing.