2014 Blue Ridge Fall Color Forecast: Why "red" is a big deal this year

Red Fall Leaves at Sunrise
Asheville travel packages, weekly color reports & the science behind fall color


Landscape in red: Biologists and weather experts report that fall color forecast factors may align for an electric pop of red foliage amid the Blue Ridge Mountain autumnal spectrum.

Why is red, in particular, such a big deal? 3D technology, satellite flyovers and time lapse photography at FallintheMountains.com illuminate this fall science mystery and others—with practical tools for planning a fall vacation including weekly color reports, top scenic drives/hikes, North Carolina autumn leaf guides and new fall travel packages.
  • 2014 Fall Travel Packages: Hike with a hawk (yes, a hawk!), forage the fall forest and race above the color with an unprecedented view of the highest peaks in the East.

Why will red leaves make an impact?
“Red hues stand out to people and are perceived as the most spectacular color of the season,” said Dr. Howard S. Neufeld, professor of biology and “fall color guy” at Appalachian State University. “Red really pops, even against an already-beautiful fall landscape.”

The weather over the next few weeks plays the most important role in fall’s color intensity with cool nights and sunny days being the recipe for a bold season. Neufeld adds that key to this year’s optimistic forecast is the potential for an increase in red pigmentation in the leaves. “Cool, clear sunny days of late summer will bring on lots of photosynthesis, and this makes for brilliant red,” said Neufeld.  Click here to learn why (and see how) fall leaves turn red.

“For the summer as a whole, Asheville was slightly cooler than average and near average for precipitation,” said Jake Crouch, climate scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville. “The precipitation is nothing compared to last summer when Asheville had its wettest summer on record. That makes me think we can expect a more vibrant autumn this year.”

Prove it. The longest & most colorful fall season in the world?
The secrets of fall trees don’t stop at red:  How is fall color like a poison dart frog? What gives Western NC one of the longest and most colorful fall foliage seasons in the world? What does fall look like as it travels down the highest peaks in the East? The FallintheMountains.com multimedia fall travel guide includes:
  • Fall in 3D: “The Science behind Fall Color” shares the secrets of the trees and rich Appalachian fall traditions through high-tech storytelling and multimedia immersion. 
  • Weekly Color Reports, Scenic Drives/Hikes & North Carolina Autumn Leaf Color Guide: Expert color reports throughout the season, recommended drive/hikes and autumn leaf color guides are part of a virtual field guide for fall travel. Real-time color updates via @FallColorHunter on Twitter help travelers locate peaking color from week to week. 
  • Fall Travel Packages & New Adventures: Get fall news and deals including new peak-to-peak tandem ziplines, night zips, kid climbing courses and harvest adventures. 

About Asheville
Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway and just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Asheville area is steeped in natural history and fall adventure. 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 has more than 100 deciduous (leaf-shedding) tree species. Peaking fall colors vary with elevation from late September through early November. Fall travel info at http://www.FallintheMountains.com.

Explore Asheville's fall foliage season.

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