Low Rainfall Causes Early Leaf Drop

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    NEWSLETTERS

    After an unusually dry end of the summer, leaves are dropping suprisingly quickly from Mid-Atlantic trees.

    D.C., Virginia and Maryland are seeing a premature leaf drop due to the recent warm streak and a dry end to the summer.

    Since Sept. 1, the region's rainfall is 2.5 inches less than average, causing leaves to change color at a more rapid pace.

    The weekend is expected to see some rainfall, but it should do little to deter the accelerated leaf drop.

    The majority of the region has seen 51 to 75 percent less rainfall than average. Some of the worst-hit areas are Frederick County, Md., Loudoun County, Clarke County, Frederick County, Va., and most of the Shenandoah Valley.

    The Shenandoah Valley -- which is one of the most popular areas in Virginia for tourists to watch the changing colors of the leaves -- is 75 percent below its average rainfall. The leaves in the area are likely to fall before the tourist season is in full swing.