2019 Preliminary Fall Foliage Forecast

Friday, September 6, 2019 - 4:19pm

It's that time of year again where we transition from Summer to Fall. One of the annual trips Rowan County residents like to make is their trip to the mountains of North Carolina to see the fall colors at their peak. I wanted to take a moment to provide you with my Preliminary Fall Foliage Forecast. Please keep in mind the forecast is based on previous years as well as current weather and soil conditions. Actual peak times may vary from the forecast. 

As far as when you can expect peak viewing times see the information below. 

September 27 - October 7 - At the highest elevations, close to 6,000 feet there is some color, but it's often very spotty and muted.  The views from these locations will be mostly green, since the areas viewed are lower elevations.  Areas that turn early in this date and elevation range include Graveyard Fields and Rough Ridge.

October 1 - 10 - Peak time for areas above 5,000 feet.  This would include: Clingmans Dome, Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, Waterrock Knob and Graveyard fields (the first location on the Parkway to turn) and higher elevations of The Blue Ridge Parkway (between Asheville and Cherokee) and Great Smoky Mountains National Park

October 10 - 20 - Peak time for elevations from 4,000 - 5,000 feet.   This would include almost all Blue Ridge Parkway locations and the majority of the Great Smoky Mountains National Parkas well.  Included in this elevation are the Boone and Blowing Rock areas.

October 18 - 26 - Peak time for lower elevations, from 3,000 - 4,000 feet.  This would include places like: Pisgah National Forest which includes Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls, Dill Falls, Wildcat Falls, and many other waterfalls.  Other ares include Linville Gorge, Nantahala Gorge, Maggie Valley, and Cataloochee Valley.

October 24 - 31 - Peak time for elevations below 2,000 feet.  This would include: The cities of Asheville,  Brevard, Waynesville, Cherokee,  and many others.  Places of interest include Dupont State Forest and Biltmore Estate, and Cades Cove.

October 26 - November 8 - Peak time for remaining elevations, including Gatlinburg, TN, Chimney Rock NC, Lake Lure and remaining lower elevation mountains.  This includes Chimney Rock as well, a great place to see Fall color.

The map below is a visual for the information listed above on when you can expect to see peak colors in your favorite area of the North Carolina Mountains

You may be asking when will you tell us about the color change for Rowan County? I am excited to announce that I will be recording a segment on the upcoming episode of Salisbury Now featured on Access 16. The segment will feature an update on current conditions in the mountains along with details on when you can expect color change right here in Rowan County. I will keep you update as changes occur right here and on my social media outlets. As always thank you for following Rowan County Weather!

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