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Fall Forecast Update: Brilliant Red Across Blue Ridge + Fall Color Goes Digital

October 12, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Why do leaves turn red? Why is peak fall leaf season so hard to predict?


The Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Asheville, North Carolina have one of the longest fall color seasons in the world. Fall foliage experts are forecasting a strong color season, thanks to a recent shift in weather patterns. Visitors can learn why leaves change color in fall and where to seek the peak color this season at (PRNewsFoto/Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau)

A drastic shift in weather patterns across the Blue Ridge Mountains has fall foliage experts changing forecasts and calling for radiant autumn color in 2013, especially a high-contrast pop of red leaves. Fall color forecasting is a tricky business and a relatively new endeavor. Now people can find out why as unravels fall mysteries and folk lore with a high-tech, visual twist in “The Science Behind Fall Color,” an interactive multimedia storytelling collaboration.

Trees aren’t just artistic — they’re also smarter than you think. “The Science Behind Fall Color” takes readers behind the colorful curtain and into fall color culture with:

  • 3D Satellite Fall Color Flyover: Blue Ridge Mountain peak color progression by elevation in Google Earth
  • Fall Mountain Timelapse: Epic peak color skyscapes among the highest mountains in the east
  • North Carolina Autumn Leaf Color Guide: Popular fall color trees of Southern Appalachia
  • Controversial Theories on Fall Colors: How is a fall tree like a poison dart frog?

Click here to view the multimedia story.

2013 Fall Color Forecast

Muted fall colors were a concern after a record-breaking year of rainfall, but biologists have revised their fall color predictions for the 2013 autumn leaf season in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

“Trees throughout the mountains are lush and healthy with no severe drought. Recent sunny-day and cool-night weather patterns are very positive news,” said Dr. Howard S. Neufeld, professor of biology and “fall color guy” at Appalachian State University.

“The heavy rains of concern early in the summer will probably have little or no effect on the colors. Weather through August and September was ideal for color development–especially the pigment red, which is what people think of when they recall an exemplary color season–so most of us leaf prognosticators are calling for a strong fall season this year.”

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