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Leaf Colors in the High Country Expected to Peak This Weekend and Early Next Week

By Harley Nefe

Following a week of unseasonably warm temperatures, the peak time for fall leaf colors was delayed a few days from earlier predictions, according to the latest fall color report from Appalachian State Biology Professor and “Fall Color Guy” Howard Neufeld. 

Higher elevations are experiencing peak colors right now; however, areas such as Boone and Blowing Rock with elevations below 3,500-4,000 feet will be peaking soon. 

“The high temperatures have slowed the development of colors in most places,” Neufeld said. “In August, I said best color in the High Country would be between Oct 10-20. Now, I think it will be closer to the 20th.”

This week, Grandfather Mountain and higher elevations above 4,000 feet offered some of the best colors around, while other trees at lower elevations were starting to change colors. 

Temperatures cool off quite a bit this weekend with high temperatures expected to be in the upper 50s and maybe reaching 60 degrees. This will bring about color change more rapidly than the temperatures in the 70s that Boone experienced throughout the workweek. Temperatures next week do warm back up in the mid and upper 60s; however, that should not impact the color changes too much.

Photos by Ken Ketchie: