Fall foliage to spread across East Tennessee

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — Leaves are beginning to change in the Smokies but will it be a good year to see all the vibrant colors we love?

In order to get those fall colors, a few things must come into play.

It all begins in the spring and summer during the growing season. In order for the fall colors to pop in the fall, we need a good amount of rainfall.

Last year, we were in a drought for a good portion of the spring and summer and conditions only got worse as fall approached. But that’s not the case this year.

This time last year we were 12.5-inches below average when it comes to rainfall. This year we are a couple of inches above average.

Luckily rain has not been an issue this year but that’s not the only thing that we need for great fall colors.

When fall finally arrives it’s important that temperatures are warm during the day and cool at night. This helps trigger the leaves to start changing.

WATE 6 On Your Side spoke Jamie Sanders who is a spokesperson for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She says when temperatures at night are too cold it can be detrimental.

“If we have a lot of really really cold or an early winter to where we’re getting freezing temperatures during the fall season then yeah it will kill the leaves and cause them to fall,” said Sanders.

There you have it. If all of those conditions are met then we’ll see all of the vibrant colors we love.

So far it’s shaping up to be a beautiful fall in the Smokies.

“It’s absolutely spectacular. To see that kind of transition in color and just watch nature evolve is just incredible,” said Sanders

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