By Jesse Wood
Howard Neufeld, the biology professor and author of the popular “Fall Color Guy” reports, says that leaf lookers at elevations of 3,000 feet and higher or so should see peak colors this weekend through the next weekend.
“The colors have started to jump out now – they are mostly the yellows and oranges of the birches, poplars, magnolias, and maples, but a few bright red maples, sourwoods, and black gums can be spotted on the hillsides now,” Neufeld wrote in his latest report published on Oct. 8. “The best weekends for viewing fall color this year in the Boone/Blowing Rock area down to Grandfather Mountain will be next weekend (Oct 14-16) and the one following (Oct 21-23), while the week in between should be good if you can get up during the work week.”
Fortunately, the rain from the hurricane didn’t blow too many leaves off, Neufeld said.
So far, warmer temperatures have delayed the leaf color season. Today, RaysWeather.com noted that the High Country is “two weeks past the average date of first frost in the valleys.
“I think the hot weather has delayed the peak a few days, as the hills are only about 20% colored now, even as high as 4,500 feet,” Neufeld wrote. “But the weather has cooled significantly, and the forecast is for sunny and cool this coming week, and that should speed up color development. Sunday this weekend is supposed to be sunny so if you have tomorrow free, think about coming up, even if the color peak is still a week away.”
Read the entire report and see fall photos here.