Fall foliage from space: before and after

Fall foliage is nearing its peak west of the District now, and has passed peak in higher elevations to the west and northwest.  You can tell that by looking at the leaves. Or, you can view high resolution snap shots from NASA’s Aqua satellite, taken from 438 miles above the Earth.

Here’s what our region looked like from space on September 17, below.


The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on September 17, 2013. (NASA Earth Observatory)

The entire region is green – even the higher terrain.

Notice the dramatic change by October 21, below.


The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured October 21, 2013. (NASA Earth Observatory)

By then, brown had replaced green in the higher terrain. Some patchy green remained in the Piedmont areas but the hues were more subtle and dull.

“Some crops had been harvested, leaving behind golden stubble or red-brown bare earth,” NASA’s Earth Observatory notes.

Here are the above two images, in an animation sequence, below.


The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this fall foliage sequence in 2013 (NASA Earth Observatory)

For those of you who prefer viewing the foliage from the ground, rather than from over 2 million feet above us, here are a couple recent reader photo submissions:


Great Falls after sunrise, October 27, 2013 (Martin Radigan Photography via Facebook)

Dupont Circle, October 29, 2013 (Erin Kelly via Flickr)

Readers: We want your fall foliage photos! Please share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Flickr!

Related: Fall foliage update: don’t wait until it’s too late | Searching for peak color at Eagle Rock and Capon Springs, WV (PHOTOS)

 

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local

Heat Tracker

49
90-degree days year-to-date
Yearly Average
36
Record Most
67 (1980,2010)
Record Fewest
7 (1886,1905)
Last Year
24

At a Glance

Fri.

thunderstorms
-- /90°
Drop 40%

Sat.

partlycloudyday
73° /84°

Sun.

partlycloudyday
67° /84°

Mon.

partlycloudyday
71° /88°

Tue.

partlycloudyday
69° /90°

Wed.

thunderstorms
72° /91°
National Airport
Dulles
BWI

Right Now

D.C. Area Almanac

 
National
Dulles
BWI
Avg. High
 
Avg. Low
 
Rec. High
 
Rec. Low
 
Sunrise
 
Sunset
°F
 
 
°C
Next Story
Jason Samenow · October 30, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.