BOONE, NC (WTVD) — Over the past few years the fall colors have been delayed, and even not as vibrant. That was mainly due to summer heat and drought.
This year however summer conditions were favorable for vibrant changing leaves. The weather year round impacts how the fall foliage unfolds, but the month of September is the most crucial.
Dr. Howard Nuefeld, a professor at Appalachian State University said that cool and sunny days in September result in the most vibrantly colored leaves. This year, September has been filled with those cool and sunny days.
The summer months can impact the colors as well. If there are drought conditions that could reduce the amount of leaves. Summer 2020 thankfully was wet for the state. A lot of that rain came from Hurricane Isaias and the remnants of Hurricane Laura in August.
Higher elevations, above 4,500 feet–like Grandfather Mountain–are already approaching the peak of color change. The peak should last through next week.