Rain dominated the weather today, and this morning’s search for a view was thwarted by heavy fog at higher elevations. However, the clouds were shifting quickly all day so we checked the weather radar for a break and tried our luck just after 5pm. Clouds broke over Stack Rock just enough around 5:30 for some incredible views to the south, and a good look at nearby color.

Cragway Trail view

View at Stack Rock Bridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Elevation 4286 feet

Fall foliage is a bit more developed in general above 4000 feet. However, it looks like we might not reach peak color “on time.” The cloudy, rainy days this week could have slowed the color progression a bit (cool, sunny days are best!). But according to “Fall Color Guy” Dr. Howie Neufeld, the coming temperatures may have a much more noticeable effect. “Temps are supposed to be around 10F above normal for the next 6-10 days… That means the fall colors, which have been coming along nicely until now, will most likely slow down and our peak colors may be delayed… by as much as a week to ten days.” Dr. Neufeld is a professor of biology at App State University in Boone, and he reminds us that immediate weather conditions can greatly affect our fall color season.
Despite any delays, even patchy and dappled color brightens up the views during these first days of the season. We are looking forward to the return of sunny days so we can enjoy the colors more! Here are a couple more views from near the Stack Rock Parking Area at milepost 304.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway: