U.P.'s blazing fall colors seen from space

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The fall foliage in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a traditional draw for visitors each year, and now the brilliant colors are visible from space.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory posted satellite imagery on its Facebook page Friday showing how the hues dotted land near Lake Superior.

Satellite image of Lake Superior with some of the surrounding land colored orange and red from fall colors on trees.

An abundance of orange and red leaves emerged in forested areas near Ishpeming in Marquette County, as well as waterfront regions in eastern Minnesota and Ontario.

"Even last week, the northern Great Lakes region was already ablaze with some spectacular autumn foliage," NOAA officials posted.

Weather experts say the U.P. usually is the first among the state's many prime viewing spots to bear the kaleidoscopic signs of the autumn season.

A map published by Pure Michigan pegged color peaking in early October.

The National Weather Service has predicted warmer weather could delay the transition in parts of the state, including Metro Detroit, which coincides with climate change affecting it elsewhere across the country.

So far this month, southeast Michigan has had summer-like conditions, with temperatures averaging about nine degrees above normal, weather service records show.

Highs Saturday and Sunday could reach the mid-70s. The average is around 65.

The mercury is forecast to top out near 80 on Columbus Day, then hover in the 70s through Friday, according to the weather service.