British Columbia

You're not imagining it, B.C.'s fall colours were 'spectacular'

A biology professor at UBC Okanagan says this fall's cool, sunny days contributed to an unusually stunning display of colours.

Biologist says combination of moisture and cool weather resulted in beautiful tree colours

Local photographer Jim Brompton shot this photo near Kelowna. (Jim Brompton Photography/ Facebook)

As snow begins to fall in the B.C. Interior, residents are enjoying the last days of an unusually colourful autumn.

In downtown Kelowna, residents interviewed used words like "fabulous" and "intense" to describe this fall's colours.

A biologist says they're right.

"I have noticed this year is particularly good. It's a spectacular year," said Miranda Hart, associate professor of biology at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus.

Biology professor Miranda Hart said the fall's cool, sunny days resulted in rich red coloured leaves. (Alya Ramadan/ CBC)

Hart said the Thompson Okanagan's cool and sunny September and October combined with just enough precipitation to keep leaves on the trees, resulting in the perfect biological reaction for beautiful colours.

Cool temperatures

"It all depends on the climate after the chloroplasts [green pigments in the leaves] have started to degrade," she said.

She said cooler-than-normal temperatures particularly enhanced the red pigment present in leaves.

For weeks, local residents have been sharing photos of the stunning colours on social media.

Kelowna's Mission Creek Greenway is a popular spot for photographers. (Jim Brompton Photography/ Facebook)

"It has indeed been a most wonderful fall with colours to warm our hearts," said Kaslo resident Sheila Clare.

"This is my colourful view on Birch Avenue," said Sheila Clare from Kaslo, B.C. (Sheila Clare)

Enjoy it while you can

In contrast, southern Ontario experienced record high temperatures this fall resulting in fall colours described as "drab."

B.C.'s beautiful hues likely won't last much longer as snow begins to fall in the interior.

Fall colours combined with winter white in Kamloops on Thursday as snow arrived in the B.C. Interior. (Doug Herbert/ CBC)

With files from CBC's Daybreak South