HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WTRF) — September is here and it has a message for us—it’s time to cool off.

The rush of summer vacations and back-to-school is behind us, and we’ll all be spending a little more time inside —preferably by the warm air coming from the vents.

The National Weather Service has released its fall predictions, and the verdict is…it may be a little warmer than in years past.

So that transition to a new season may not be as intense as you might expect, but make no mistake—it’s almost here.

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If you look at first frost dates, end of September, That high elevation of Canaan Valley, then you start to work your way to lower elevations, maybe the first week of October.

Dr. Kevin Law, State Climatologist for West Virginia

If you live closer to ground level, the hot chocolate and bonfires might be a little further out for you.

When you go to the higher elevations, the air is naturally drier too, and dry air changes temperature quickly. So it might warm up a little bit during the day but it’ll cool just as quickly at night.

Dr. Kevin Law, State Climatologist for West Virginia

And all that change is reflected in the leaves—which are beginning to shift from greens to bright red and orange.

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We might enjoy that color, but the trees don’t—it means they’re stressed.

In the drier season they’re not able to produce as much energy as they could in June or July.

So leaves have chlorophyll, and that chlorophyll will absorb sunlight and use that to convert that into energy, and that’s why you see the green color, is the chlorophyll.

Dr. Kevin Law, State Climatologist for West Virginia

Dr. Law says three conditions are needed for those bright colors to dot the mountainside: sunny, dry, and chilly.

Optimally, if you want to have the most vivid colors, you probably want to have the cooler temperatures, because that would promote the lack of that chlorophyll production.

Dr. Kevin Law, State Climatologist for West Virginia

So don’t be sad that the short sleeves are on their way into the storage closet.

Be excited about the the vivid hues all around us, and the pumpkin spice that will soon linger in every coffee shop.