Fall Color Report

Post date: 09/26/2016
 It's been hot (like 10 degrees above normal hot) for the past week and we've had essentially no rainfall (just a mist on three days). You can check out the history of Boone weather over the past few months here: https://weather.com/weather/monthly/l/Boone+NC+28607:4:US. We have had only 0.07" of rain since the first of September and the last rainfall of any substance was only 0.38" on August 21st. It is DRY here and the drought monitoring system now has us in a moderate drought category: http://www.ncdrought.org/hires.php while the southern portion of the mountains is in...
Post date: 09/21/2016
 The weather in the mountains has been above normal in temperature and below normal in terms of rainfall. The NC Climate Office predicts drought will develop throughout the mountains this fall, especially near the Georgia border: (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/.../expert_as.../season_drought.png). The higher temperatures could slightly delay the onset of fall colors, but only by a few days, so I don't think you'll have to change your plans if you've already decided on which weekend or weekday that you'll be coming up to the mountains. However, the drought could have more dramatic impacts...
Post date: 09/13/2016
 Another week has passed and there have been some noticeable changes in tree leaf color, but most of this is confined to urban trees and bushes and not those out on in the forests on the hillsides. As the pictures below confirm, the ornamental red maples are really starting to turn now. They have a very peculiar pattern of turning – first from the top, and often the east side, which then works downward with each passing day until the entire tree is a bright red. Some turn a lot earlier than others.Notice this set of red maples in the parking lot at Galileo's in Boone, where two of them...
Post date: 09/07/2016
 For those of you who still have one day left in your Labor Day Holiday, consider coming up to the mountains on Monday. The weather is spectacular, with low humidity and cool temperatures, and it's sunny with views that go for miles. Today was a beautiful day, and I was out hiking the Rough Ridge Trail with our new fall color dog, Mila, 8 months old, who is our new family member after the tragic passing of our other dog, Hanna,whom some of you may remember from previous postings. I still have Hanna's ashes and will disperse them in the woods sometime this fall.The word of the day is:...
Post date: 08/30/2016
 Well folks, I'M BACK!This post marks the first official fall leaf color post for the 2016 season and I'm looking forward to yet another great fall color season. So once a week, watch for my posts.One technical note: Although I consider myself technically savvy, I plead ignorance with regards to social media. I don't use Twitter or Instagram (and if I do show up on those places, it's totally by accident!). If you send me something via messaging, like Facebook messenger, I may or may not see it. So if you don't get a prompt reply, it's nothing personal. I just didn't know you sent it....
Post date: 10/13/2015
 Today, the Fall Color Guy and his daughter Gabriela scouted out the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Thunderhill Overlook just outside Blowing Rock down to the Chestoa Overlook about 10 miles below Linville. It was a gorgeous day, and the Parkway was full up with leaf lookers.This is THE PEAK WEEK for the Blowing Rock to Grandfather Mountain section of the Parkway. The same might be said for the Cashiers/Highlands area, according to my contacts down that way. Colors have exploded out over the weekend, even despite the dreary, rainy Saturday that we had. Luckily for us, there was little or no...
Post date: 10/05/2015
 That pesky low pressure system that has been plaguing the southeast is still with us this week, but today it seems to be showing signs of dissipating. For one brief instant, late this afternoon, I actually saw the sun! We've had something like 12 straight days with clouds/mist/rain, exactly the wrong weather for good fall leaf colors. However, the saving grace is that this all occurred when the majority of trees in the High Country were still green, and were holding onto their leaves tightly. Thus, even though there is a lot of debris on the ground from the rains and winds, many of the...
Post date: 09/28/2015
 Starting on Thursday of this past week, a low pressure system became stalled off the east coast of the Carolinas, bringing substantial amounts of rain and wind all the way into the mountains of western North Carolina and Tennessee, plus upstate South Carolina and Georgia. However, the cloud cover also moderated low nighttime temperatures, and while it has been cool during the days, it hasn't been getting as cold at night like it did prior to these rains. When there are clear skies, infra-red radiation (heat) can escape into space, resulting in cold mornings.As a result, the development...
Post date: 09/21/2015
 It has been delightfully cool here in the High Country for the past 10 days or so, especially in the mornings. It has also been very sunny. And as I've said for many years, if you get cool, sunny weather in September, you're headed for good fall leaf color. And we're getting it! So, if this keeps up for the next few weeks, we should be headed for a really, really, good fall leaf color season!Color has burst out this week here (and burst is the appropriate word!). Last Sunday, I said the word to describe the forests then was "green". But now, just one week later, the hillsides are...
Post date: 09/14/2015
 Still green out there! But! This morning it was 48 F at my house, and probably several degrees colder at the higher elevations on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A cool front has moved in and dropped temperatures substantially, which is good for fall color development. But there hasn't been much change in the leaves since last week, although a few plants are showing color prominently now, especially up on the ridges near Grandfather Mountain.Today, I hiked the Rough Ridge trail, which is just north of the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you haven't done that trail, I highly...