WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

There's more time to see NC fall foliage: warm weather has delayed fall colors

Posted October 16, 2021 7:00 p.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2021 5:39 p.m. EDT

Warm weather in the North Carolina mountains means that peak fall colors will be a bit delayed this year, according to the Explore Asheville's Fall Color Report & Forecast. Experts expect that peak fall colors will come around one week later than normal this year.

Appalachian State University's weekly fall color report said that most spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway are still green.

Temperatures have been been 15 degrees above average in Asheville, which means leaves aren't peaking as fast as they normally do. But the good news is that weather is supposed to cool off in western North Carolina — and fall colors will follow.

Lows in Asheville are expected to drop into the upper 30s and mid-40s.

"Those 40-degree low temperatures are exactly what we need to spur fall color development. It needs to get that cool at night for trees to stop the production of chlorophyll, which keeps the leaves green," according to Asheville's Fall Color Report & Forecast.

The best color this week in the Grandfather Mountain Rough Ridge area, ASU's fall color report says.

Mountain Sunset

At higher elevations, temperatures are typically cooler and colors are starting to peak more. This past week there were nice orange and red leaves at the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Linn Cove Viaduct, said Victoria Darlington with the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.

Meteorologists predict that this year fall leaves are expected to be more vibrant and beautiful than they were last year. For best fall color, experts recommend visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains sometime next weekend, or the weekend after that.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.