CLEMSON, SC (WSPA) – Hurricane Florence shouldn’t put a damper on fall colors, according to Clemson University Assistant Professor of Forest Ecologist Don Hagan Ph.D.
Hagan said above average rain and warm temperatures may delay the colors slightly.
Hagan traveled to Devil’s Courthouse in Transylvania Co. after the Blue Ridge Parkway was reopened after Hurricane Florence.
“We didn’t see the direct impacts here along the southern Blue Ridge Parkway like we could have seen,” Hagan said. “Had we seen a little bit more wind and a little bit more rain, we could have seen leaves getting knocked off before they ever had a chance to turn — and we just fortunately didn’t’t see that this year.”
Heavy winds and rain were predicted with Florence that could have dampened the colors in WNC, but the severe weather stayed to the east.
“You get some cooler weather and those nice bluebird skies, and the clear skies along with the cooler temperatures help bring out some of the brighter colors and particularly the reds and the purples,” he said. “If we can see that as we transition into fall, I think this could really line up to be a fantastic fall color season.”
Hagan said it is too early to tell when the leaves will change, but said the majority of color in the southern Appalachians would be determined by the weather from mid-September through mid-October.