~ Expert predictions, fall color facts and what’s new for autumn 2019 ~
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 3, 2019)—Biologists and fall color experts in Western North Carolina—an area known for one of the longest and most colorful fall leaf displays in the world—say that conditions are lining up for a vibrant autumn season across the Asheville area and the Blue Ridge Mountains, a season that should prove to outshine the last few years. Visit ExploreAsheville.com/fall for weekly color reports and best color bets throughout the season.
EXPERTS SAY: “The Asheville region has seen temperatures that are close to normal during the months of April through August, the important time period when leaves are on the trees,” said Dr. Howard S. Neufeld, professor of biology and "fall color guy" at Appalachian State University. “Though August has been dry, there has been no drought and the trees aren’t stressed heading into autumn. A warm forecast for September most likely means sunny days that will cause trees to create more red pigments that lead to brighter leaf colors.”
More intensity in the fall color means a lively seasonal backdrop for the depth of new fall travel experiences, openings and events happening in the Asheville area over fall 2019. (See “What’s New in Asheville This Fall” for more info.) However, some forecasters predict a slight delay in the color transition.
“My best prediction based on the summer we’ve had and the long-range forecast for a little warmer than normal September and October…I think we might have a more traditional fall, with brighter colors,” said Beverly Collins, professor of biology at Western Carolina University. However, those same conditions could also impact the timing. Collins predicts a slightly delayed start to the leaf change and believes that this may become the norm as average temperatures trend upward in the region.
ASHEVILLE-AREA FALL COLOR FACTS: Western North Carolina is fortunate to have one of the most vivid displays of autumn foliage in the world. Here’s why…
- Extreme Elevations: Ranging from 1,500 feet in the valleys to 6,684 feet at Mount Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Mississippi River), the color show descends the mountains for a transition that can span multiple months.
- Unmatched Biodiversity: There are more than 100 species of deciduous (leaf-shedding) trees in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- Long Season: Starting late September in the higher elevations and extending through early or mid-November in the lower regions around Asheville, peaking fall color is accessible throughout the fall season.
- Perfect Fall Recipe: September weather is an important factor for fall color. Sunny days and crisp, cool nights during the month cause green chlorophyll in leaves to degrade and red, orange and yellow pigments to emerge.
WHAT’S NEW FOR FALL 2019: With the area primed for a healthy fall color season, Asheville offers a slate of new adventures in 2019. Fall travelers have a new Downton Abbey exhibition to explore at Biltmore, events and creative openings featuring Asheville’s modern Appalachian food scene, fresh hotel offerings, new downtown museums, sunset yoga tours and a major craft beer milestone. Learn about these new experiences + iconic ways to enjoy one of the world’s longest fall color seasons at http://www.ExploreAsheville.com/new-in-fall2019.
STAY TUNED: Visit http://www.ExploreAsheville.com/fall for weekly color reports utilizing up-to-date information from area parks and attractions, as well as an animated color progression map of peaking fall leaves that pinpoints when and where the best color is occurring. The color updates will also include fall travel deals and autumn events and news.
Surrounded by the highest peaks in the eastern U.S., Asheville is steeped in natural history, fall adventure and cultural legacies—including America’s Largest Home, Biltmore, and America’s Favorite Scenic Drive, The Blue Ridge Parkway. With elevations that range from 1,500 feet in the valleys to 6,684 feet at Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, the Blue Ridge Mountains have more than 100 deciduous tree species, regularly placing the area among the nation’s top fall travel destinations.
Email Media@ExploreAsheville.com to gain access to high-resolution photos and video.