Experts are remaining hopeful about the upcoming fall leaf season despite the long-range forecast predicting more rain across western North Carolina.
“It may be a little muted and less brilliant than in some other years where we have had more drought,” said Kathy Mathews, associate professor of biology at Western Carolina University.
There are concerns the rain may dampen the color development, and rightfully so– the fall color season depends a lot on the weather.
Mathews says the leaves need sunshine in the day and cool temperatures at night in the weeks leading up to the first major frost.
Will that happen? Mathews says it’s too early to know. She says predicting the intensity of fall colors is a combination requiring science and luck.
But regardless if Mother Nature cooperates or not, Mathews says there will be a good showing of color. Leaf lookers may just not be able to find the exact shade they were looking for.
The dogwoods, red maples and sourwoods may not be as bright red, Mathews adds.”
One benefit of the wet, rainy summer is that it will extend the fall color season which usually peaks around mid-October.