(Photo: University of Virginia in Early Fall)

The middle of October is here and fall is definitely in the air in Charlottesville & Albemarle County! With the cooler afternoons and the crisp, chilly nights, vibrant fall foliage is right around the corner. So how are conditions shaping up as of October 16? The answer to that question all depends on your location!

In the city of Charlottesville and lower elevations throughout Albemarle County, color is still rather spotty. However, some of the trees are beginning to show faint flecks of color in their leaves. From the Downtown Mall to the University of Virginia, green is still the predominant color, but keen observers will notice a few hues of red, orange, and yellow high atop some of the trees dotting the landscape. With a few cool nights on the way, color should continue to develop throughout the week, with peak colors arriving in the city sometime toward the end of October.

In the mountains and higher elevations, it's a slightly different story. The added elevation, along with the cooler temperatures found there, help initiate a faster changing of colors. Visitors and locals alike will see a variety of colors depending on their exact elevation. Shenandoah National Park is starting to come to life with vibrant pops of color, with deep reds, sparkling yellows, and rich oranges becoming more plentiful on the rolling mountains. Southward on the Blue Ridge Parkway, fall's display is starting to become more prevalent, but peak color is still a bit farther on the horizon, with the most vibrant colors still yet to come.

Things change in a hurry during this time of the year, so be sure to stay tuned for more updates on this season's fall foliage over the next few weeks. Until then, happy leaf peeping, everyone!