ETSU: Incredible colors likely this fall

Published 1:36 pm Thursday, September 14, 2023

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Fall color has the potential to be incredible in the Appalachian Highlands this year.
That’s according to Travis Watson, East Tennessee State University’s campus arborist.
“Having those bright sunny days during the fall is really a bonus,” said Watson. “We will get a really nice display of those reds if we can keep sunny days and cool nights.”
Some of the tallest peaks in the Appalachian Mountains are beginning to display hints of what will become a thrilling display of crimson, gold and orange.
The mountains of East Tennessee, Western North Carolina and Southwest Virginia will likely reach their peak the first week of October.
For the region’s lower elevations, color should begin to increase in early October.
There is a caveat, according to Watson: strong storms and lower-than-normal temperatures could trigger the leaves to change a few days early or come down sooner than expected.
For now, the weather forecast looks promising. The National Weather Service projects temperature highs in the upper-70s through the next week with limited rain. Overnight lows will dip into the mid-50s.
“The biodiversity we enjoy in the Appalachian Highlands, including vegetation and trees that are truly diverse, so often makes for a stunning autumn,” Watson said.
ETSU is home to a range of scholars and professionals who regularly share their expertise with the community. The goal: improving the quality of life for the people of the region and beyond.
Starting this week, ETSU will offer a weekly fall color prediction every Thursday until the season ends. Find it on ETSU’s social media channels, as well as ETSU News.  

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