Drought could mean early fall colors in the Carolinas
CLEMSON, S.C. -- It’s been a dry summer in the Carolinas, and that weather could lead to brighter — and earlier — fall colors.
Clemson University professor Victor Shelburne says the most vibrant colors come when a dry summer is followed by crisp autumn nights.
But too much cold too early can shorten the season, and drought can mean the leaves fall before they fully turn. Shelburne says the Carolinas have gotten just enough rain to keep that from happening.
The forest ecology expert says colors should be most brilliant around mid-October in high areas. Lower areas should be at their peak in late October and early November.
Shelburne says some trees in high elevations like the Jocassee Gorges area are already starting to turn, with reds coming out in sourwoods and dogwoods.