Hot, dry weather could affect Moore County’s fall colors

Scenic rides like the Natchez Trace Parkway may not be so colorful if Tennessee doesn’t get rain soon. {Photo courtesy of NPS}

{Editor’s Note: This article includes updated details and was originally published on Sept. 11.}

LOCAL NEWS | Outdoors — According to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) rain gauge at Tims Ford Dam (before last night’s brief showers) our area received just 1.14 inches of rain so far in September. This means local trees are stressed from lack of water and this doesn’t bode well for a jewel-toned fall.

The recipe for a bright fall colors is simple: a wet spring, less sunlight, and cool fall mornings. In 2019 southern, middle Tennessee experienced 2.15 inches below average rainfall this spring. Less sunlight? Well, that’s guaranteed. The first day of fall took place on Monday and still Lynchburg daytime temps have hovered above 90.

Fall leaves typically peak in southern, middle Tennessee the last week of October … around Halloween. This year, those who know like state naturalist Randy Hedgepath, predict a slightly later first couple of weeks … possibly even pushing the event into the first couple weeks of November. It will happen earlier in East Tennessee, of course, and a bit closer to Thanksgiving in West Tennessee.

To accommodate colorblind folks, the Department of Tourism has added innovative EnChroma viewing lenses at 12 locations throughout the state including spots in Fall Creek Falls State Park near Spencer, South Cumberland State Park near Beersheba Springs, Highway 111 in Sequatchie County, as well s Ruby Falls/Lookout Mountian in Chattanooga. To learn more, click here.

Luckily the Cumberland Plateau offers lots of great places to view the fall colors. Chattanooga offers multiple viewing spots like Rock City or the Bluff View Arts District. Sewanee and Monteagle also offer amazing views at the University of the South campus as well as the Sewanee Cross located on Tennessee Avenue.

In Lynchburg, Tims Ford Lake, Highway 50, and Highway 129 offer great paths for a Sunday road trip. To get updates on the fall colors, visit the Tennessee State Parks website and the Tennessee Tourism website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}