Did Hurricane Florence affect NC's leaf season?

Steve Daniels Image
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fall leaf season brings thousands of visitors and millions of dollars to Western North Carolina. Fortunately, Hurricane Florence did not have a significant impact on the leaves. Experts said the storm mostly missed the Asheville area, and they are expecting a healthy fall season.

Remnants of the hurricane dropped much less rain in the mountains than in other parts of North Carolina and the leaves were still green, so they did not fall off trees in the wind and rain.

"If this storm had come through two weeks later, it would have had a bigger impact. So, my forecast is that we're still in pretty good shape," said Howard Neufeld in an Asheville Citizen-Times story. Neufeld is known as the "Fall Color Guy" and is a professor of biology at Appalachian State University in Boone.

ABC11 Chief Meteorologist Chris Hohmann said October's cool nights and a frost or freeze can help accelerate fall colors.

Experts said the leaves are ready to produce a fall color show along the Blue Ridge Parkway into November.