Fall foliage is running a few days behind this year because of the hot weather, and dry conditions aren't helping either.
For optimum leaf color change, there needs to be a combination of cool days and rain. There have only been isolated showers so far and drought conditions continue to worsen.
Despite that Dr. Neufeld, a Biology Professor at Appalachian State, remains optimistic about the color change because of the upcoming cold front. He says that the trees can change colors rapidly when there's a big drop in temperatures, and the cold front this weekend should do just that.
Also, another front early next will bring rain helping out dry conditions. If things stay dry for the rest of the month that could shorten the leaf season. Trees drop their leaves to save water in response to dry weather. So for a great season, we need to hope for cooler days and more rain.
Right now the highest elevations above 5,000 feet are already seeing changing leaves. So when should you plan your trip?
The highest elevations will see peak colors during the third week of October.
Spots near Asheville and Linville will peak October 21st through the 28th
The triad will see the best colors will during the last week of October through early November and we'll see peak colors here in central North Carolina around the second week of November.