DENVER — You’ve seen the fall foliage forecast. Right now, Aspen gold should be nearing its peak in our northern mountains.  

But, leaf peepers heading up this weekend will be disappointed. There’s not much fall color to see ... yet. 

The days are getting shorter, and that has triggered the color change. But Entomologist Dan West with the Colorado State Forest Service said we’re missing another critical ingredient. 

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Fall colors map
Courtesy 9NEWS

"We really haven't seen that cool evening trigger to say, 'Okay... we're now going to start to wall off our leaves and start to shut down for the season because it's been so warm and pleasant throughout the last few weeks,'" West said. "We're basically sitting somewhere between one and two weeks behind where we have been in the past. And we're almost a full month behind where we were last year."

What does it take to get that perfect fall display? Basically cool temperatures, sunshine throughout the day, and no big storms. 

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Fall colors drive
9NEWS File Photo

The color change could still happen on time across our central and southern mountains, but it all depends on how the weather plays out in the coming weeks.

When you do finally head up the hill to catch the beautiful scenery, West said don’t be surprised if you see a few patches of leaves that drop early this season. 

Wet, cool springs followed by warm summers will trigger fungal leaf spot diseases, and scientists have already started to see that in a few areas. 

He said just keep driving to the next grove to find the color.

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