Soggy summer could mean good fall color,"maybe" - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Soggy summer could mean good fall color,"maybe"

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BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Just days before the Labor Day Weekend some leaves in the North Carolina Mountains have already started to show fall color.

"It's not unusual to see that so early," said Dr. Howard Neufeld of Appalachian State University.

Neufeld is an expert in tree physiology and said the early color comes from trees with some stress, but most trees this year are in good shape, he says.

In recent years, drought has been an issue when it came to fall colors. This year, the extra rain that has fallen has produced a lot of leaves that have the potential of being very colorful this year.

The key will be the weather over the next month, said Neufeld. "If we have dry weather with some cool nights, not freezing, it could bring out the colors nicely." 

For many businesses in North Carolina's High Country, the prospect of a good fall tourist season gives them hope. "It's been a tough summer," said Christa Poore, who runs a shop and restaurant near Pineola in Avery County. 

The rainy summer kept a lot of hikers and sightseers away, she said. The fall season will be important for the financial bottom line. "It's critical for us," she said. "It will carry us through the winter."

Most of the color, according to experts, won't start showing up until late September and into October. The third week of October is generally the peak period around the  3500 foot elevations.

Weather between now and then will determine the exact peak times.

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