The leaves this fall could be more vibrantly colored than usual | When they'll peak in NC

Friday, October 9, 2020
TIMELINE: When leaf colors will peak this fall in NC
Fall colors are arriving across North Carolina, and they could be more vibrant than in years past.

BOONE, N.C. (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.

Leaf peepin': When are fall colors headed our way?

Higher elevations, above 4,500 feet--like Grandfather mountain--are already approaching the peak of color change. The peak should last through next week.

Spots near 3,000 feet--like Blowing Rock--will start to peak October 13-18.

Then, areas near Asheville will bloom sometime around October 19-24.

The leaves will be most vibrant in the Piedmont and Central North Carolina the last week of October through the first week of November.