AAA Predicts 'Normal' Fall Color Season For Michigan

Sep 07, 2006, 01:00 ET from AAA Michigan

    DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on information provided
 by the National Weather Service, AAA predicts a "normal" fall color season
 for Michigan. And with gas prices falling along with the leaves, it is
 anticipated that more than 1 million travelers will strike out in search of
 the state's awesome color display.
     A wet spring and summer across much of the Lower Peninsula points to a
 promising color season between mid-September, when the show usually begins
 in the north, and late-October, when it ends in Southern Michigan.
     The National Weather Service projects below average precipitation
 across much of the Lower Peninsula this fall, which means more sun to help
 generate peak color. Above average temperatures are forecast for the Upper
 Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula. Combined with cool evening temps,
 this could also help generate good color.
     In Michigan, fall travelers can count on good yellows in the aspens and
 cottonwoods. But favorable weather is needed to bring out the reds in the
 maples, sumac and Northern red oak to provide a vivid color season.
     Michigan is blessed with vibrant natural color, and plenty of ways to
 see it. There are more than 18.6 million acres of forested land, two
 national shorelines, nearly 100 state parks and recreation areas, hundreds
 of local and regional parks, three national forests and state forests in
 both peninsulas.
     Travelers can enjoy the season on leisurely canoe floats down rivers,
 pedaling mountain bikes, on horseback, or during a traditional weekend
 drive to see Michigan's more than 160 waterfalls.
     Many accent their fall color tour with a stop at one of the state's
 many cider mills, fall festivals or world-class wineries. When planning
 trips, AAA cautions motorists to remember that shoreline areas along the
 Great Lakes tend to have delayed peak color compared with inland forests
 due to lake-effect heat.
     Valleys, hilltops and roadways often turn earlier because they are more
 likely to see cooler temperatures.
     Beginning September 15, fall color watchers looking for the best
 viewing opportunities can call Travel Michigan at (888) 78-GREAT (784-7328)
 for color updates provided by AAA Michigan each Wednesday through October.
 Updates also will be posted at (enter ZIP code, click ABOUT
 AAA tab), or visit .
     Stay alert on your fall color drive -- especially for deer and other
 wildlife. Watch for slower-moving traffic. Pull well off the road to see
 color or take photos, or to let faster moving traffic pass. Switch drivers
 often to avoid fatigue and so everyone on board can see the show. Stop at
 scenic turnouts frequently to rest, and enjoy the view. Wear safety belts
 and avoid alcohol.
     AAA Michigan offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial
 services to more than 1.6 million members in Michigan. It is part of The
 Auto Club Group (ACG), the largest affiliation of AAA clubs in the Midwest,
 with approximately 4.1 million members in eight states. ACG belongs to the
 national AAA federation, a not-for-profit organization with more than 49
 million members in the United States and Canada.