Thursday, September 27, 2018

Black Forest Express

  Photo by Gerri Miller

Wednesday’s high, 68; Overnight low, 47; .29” rain

To hear today’s complete forecast, click on arrow below:

Penn State expert predicts muted fall foliage…..Route 6 in Pennsylvania has become a part of the National Bike Route System….Mansfield based state police continue to investigate a hit and run injuring a truck driver…..Johnsonburg driver is facing DUI charges

Warm, wet weather is predicted to continue through the rest of September and most of October in the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Great Lakes regions, and those soggy conditions likely will result in a subdued foliage display, according to a Penn State forest expert.This is the opposite of what is needed to bring out the best and timely colors, which require cool and dry conditions with the onset of fall,” said Marc Abrams, professor of forest ecology and physiology in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “I predict that there will be a late — and muted — leaf coloration this October.”
The foliage outlook is a bit better for the Great Lakes and Adirondack regions, Abrams noted, because although they received above-average amounts of precipitation, they were spared the exceptionally high amount of rainfall other regions received.
“I’m not expecting a total washout because even during the worst of times trees produce good to fair color,” he said. “But it may take a bit more hunting to find the best color this year. What we need now — and what we are not likely to get this fall — is for cool to cold temperatures to arrive by early to mid-October to bring out the best colors.”
For three decades, Abrams has studied how seasonal precipitation and temperature influence timing and intensity of fall colors in central Pennsylvania. “We believe that clear, bright days, low but not freezing temperatures, and dry but not drought conditions promote the best fall colors,” he said.
Cooler temperatures signal deciduous trees to stop producing chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for photosynthesis, he explained. The chlorophyll breaks down and disappears, unmasking other leaf pigments. These other pigments — called xanthophylls and carotenes — are what create the yellows and oranges seen in the leaves of yellow poplar, hickory, sycamore, honey locust, birch, beech and certain maples.

After chlorophyll production stops, trees also produce another pigment in their leaves called anthocyanin, according to Abrams. The anthocyanins create the brilliant reds and purples seen in maple, sassafras, sumac, blackgum and scarlet oak.
One thing that I have been impressed with in my 30-plus years of gauging foliage is the resiliency of the display,” he said. “Year after year, despite the conditions, there are places where the trees show good color, but perhaps not great color every year.”

Many car drivers and motorcyclists choose fall as the perfect time to travel
across Route 6 and explore the quaint towns and lush colors of the
countryside; now bicyclists are experiencing the fresh autumn air as they
bike on America’s newest addition to the US Bike Route System (USBR). US
Route 6 in Pennsylvania, previously known as PA Bike Route Y, has been
designated as USBR 36.

At the May meeting of the American Association of State Highway and
Transportation Officials (AASHTO), USBR 36 in Pennsylvania was named,
connecting cyclists across the state from Ohio to New York

With the designation, the PA Route 6 Alliance plans to start educating the
communities and businesses along the highway on how to capture this new
market and how to better serve this travel segment. Their plans are to work
with companies that promote journey cycling like Adventure Cycling and Ride
with GPS.

GPS mapping for USBR 36 is now available on the Ride with GPS website – a
website used by travelling bicyclists to download GPS map and cue sheets to
their portable devices. The map follows PA Route 6 with the exception of
detouring off Rt. 6 and using Rt 107 from Factoryville to Mayfield. Check it
out here: <>

For more information on biking on USBR 36, PA Bike Route Y or PA Route 6
Heritage Corridor, contact the PA Route 6 Alliance at 814-435-7706.

Mansfield –based state police are continuing their investigation into a hit and run taking place Wednesday morning on Route 15 North in Lawrenceville. Troopers say a Tonawanda, NY truck driver had gotten out of his parked tractor trailer to check it and while he was walking around the rig on the fog line he was hit by an unknown vehicle which might have been a dark colored SUV. The vehicle would have front end damage and possibly a broken windshield. Police have not revealed the truck driver’s condition. Anyone with information is asked to call the Mansfield barracks at 570-662-2151.
Portions of two major roads near the New York/Pennsylvania state line were closed for several hours due to “police activity Wednesday afternoon during the investigation. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation advised motorists that Route 15 northbound and Route 1015 were closed from the Borough of Lawrenceville to the New York border. There are unconfirmed reports that police were also investigating a suicide in that area, near Lindley< NY but that has not been confirmed.

DUI charges are pending against a 47 year old Johnsonburg driver following a traffic stop Sunday afternoon in Ridgway Township. State police claim when they pulled the man over for numerous traffic violations, they determined he had been d riving his 2014 Jeep under the influence of alcohol.