August rain shouldn't fade fall leaves in WNC

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina university professor says abundant August rains shouldn't have an impact on fall leaves showing their colors in western North Carolina.

The Asheville Citizen Times reports Appalachian State University professor Howard Neufeld said it's an old wives' tale that if you get a lot of rainfall in the summer it dilutes the fall color. Neufeld said what matters is sunshine and temperatures in September, which he calls a crucial month.

Neufeld said sunny days and cool nights are the best conditions for fall colors. He said in Boone, dogwoods have already started changing to a dark burgundy red color.

The professor cites long-range forecasts from the National Weather Service which call for an equal chance for normal temperatures and a 33 percent chance of above-normal precipitation.

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