KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — October is off to a nice, dry start, which is perfect for those who love the colorful leaves that autumn brings.
The keys to bright, picture-perfect fall foliage are simple: Dry, cool weather and bright sunny days.
This fall, East Tennessee has only seen 0.06 inches of rain, and with only one day next week with a 40% chance of rain (Thursday), it doesn’t seem like that will be changing much any time soon.
“The leaves like the drier conditions, bright sunny days, as well as the cooler temperatures at night that stay above freezing so it’s actually working in their favor as we have been seeing all of this recently.” WATE Meteorologist Michael Autovino said.
Some areas in the valley have been seeing some change already, with higher elevations and more leaf changes. Typically, the peak foliage for the valley comes in late October, so the changes are expected to continue progressing over the next few weeks.
With this fall foliage, it is important to remember the risks that come along with the dry leaves and weather.
In Middle Tennessee, WATE’s sister station WKRN is warning of the potential increased wildfire risk that comes along with these conditions. For those who are considering burning, remember to check with local authorities to see if a burn permit is needed. Between October 15-May 15, debris burn permits are required from the Division of Forestry for anyone starting an open-air fire within 500 feet of a forest, grassland or woodland. According to the state, permits are not needed for burning in containers such as a metal barrel with a ½” mesh screen cover.
In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, some bright yellows are beginning to pop, with occasional sprinkles of red trees throughout the mountains. These unedited photos taken on Oct. 2 show off the splendor of smokies color despite the mist that the mountains are named for.
Even more excellent foliage can be expected to come in the coming weeks, as the cool, dry and sunny weather continues.