Editor’s Note: The picture above was taken on Friday afternoon, so there is still plenty of leaf color to see in the High Country on what is expected to be a great weekend with little to no rain.
The following story was written on Wednesday – after torrential rains and gusty winds knocked off some of the leaves at higher elevations.
Wind and Rain Didn’t Knock Off All The Leaves! Plenty of Fall Color To See at Lower Elevations This Weekend
By Jesse Wood
Oct. 15, 2014. As ASU Biology Professor Howard Neufeld, also known as the “Fall Color Guy,” noted in a recent post, Tuesday’s deluge of rain and wind came at the “worst of all possible times (to paraphrase Voltaire)” – as far as leaf lookers in higher elevations are concerned.
Neufeld made the post before the actual storms, and the wind and rain didn’t knock off as many leaves as one might expect – especially in the lower elevations where peak color hasn’t occurred.
“Note that since the trees at lower elevations were not yet at peak, the winds didn’t take down as many as we might have feared, so this weekend should still be great for fall colors!!” Neufeld wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning. “I just spoke with the rangers at Linville Falls, and they say that the colors are just now at their peak, and that this weekend would be the best time to come. The storms didn’t take that many leaves down. So, come on up!”
Kellen Short, a spokesperson for Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, mentioned that many leaves are “still clinging to tree branches” on Wednesday.
“While the mountains experienced some leaf loss along the high ridgelines and exposed areas, many of the trees that are just approaching peak color showed incredible resilience,” Short wrote in a fall color update.
On Sunday, Neufeld posted his latest weekly update. He mentioned that areas with an elevation of 3,000 feet or below are still approaching peak. He also mentioned that areas in the elevation range of 3,000 to 4,500 feet are in its peak early this week.
“Next weekend will still have great color in most areas except those above 4,500 feet,” Neufeld wrote last Sunday.
Now that we have about a week of storms out of the way – minus an isolated shower or two – the weather from Thursday to Sunday is forecasted to be exceptional for mid-October. And plenty of color is still around for folks to see.
With some of the vibrant luster gone, the color is on its way to the harvest tone.