Local Weather Forecast for Planning Your Vacation to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains!

Changing Leaves

Receive Occasional Smoky Mountain News, Events & Weather Updates

Article Below Courtesy of Local Yokel Jerry Ison

Why Do Leaves Change Colors?

In the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, we are fortunate to live where we can experience the splendor of four different seasons.  The crisp, glittering cold of winter; the airy pastels of a fresh green spring; the fullness and deep green of summer; and the glorious display of fall.

For many of us in the Smokies, autumn is the season we most appreciate.  With cool, comfortable evenings and a more gentle, softer glow from the sun, autumn is the canvas for nature's most brilliant brush strokes.  The yellows and golds of the Buckeye and Cottonwoods blend beautifully with the silver, purple and red of the Sweet Gum.  Countless shades of red....running from barely orange Sassafras leaves, through the brownish rust of Oaks and Sycamores, to the brilliant scarlet of Sugar Maples and Dogwoods.

This colorful display is not only for trees as many other plants get in on the act too.  Some grasses turn beautiful shades of yellow and gold, and Poison Ivy leaves develop reds so vibrant, they sometimes appear metallic.

What Causes this Marvelous Transformation?
How are the Colors of Different Plants and Trees Determined?

Scientists, Botanists and Biologists have many answers and logical reasons as to why all the fall foliage colorization takes places.  They talk of loss of chlorophyll - the green stuff in plants.  There's mention of the yellow agents, carotene and xanthophyll.  They bring up the cooler nights and bright sunshine of autumn days as causes for chemical changes which result in color changes.  There's usually even mention of the red pigments, anthocyanins, formed when natural sugar, glucose, is trapped in a dying leaf.  Oh yes, no scientific discussion of the leaves of autumn would be complete without mention of abscission.  This is what gives the term "fall" meaning.  Abscission is the process which causes trees to lose their leaves.  Or at least, so say those scientists.

I have a completely different version.  In my version, the coloring and eventual dropping of the leaves is a carefully orchestrated performance.  Much like the fireworks finale at the Patriot Festival.  It's the Creator's way, and so obviously so, of topping off His magnificent performance of the preceding season - summer.  That was a tough act to follow, but to me, autumn is the cymbal at the end of summer's crescendo.  ~

smokymountainsholidayonfacebook

Become a Smoky Mountain Holiday Seasons Fan!

Monthly Average
Temperatures and Precipitation [Inches]

Month

High

Low

2012

January

48

21

4.8

February

53

24

4.2

March

61

30

5.3

April

69

37

4.2

May

76

46

5.5

June

82

54

5.8

July

86

58

6.0

August

85

57

4.5

September

80

50

4.2

October

71

38

2.8

November

61

30

3.8

December

51

24

4.3

National Forest Service Fall Color Hotline:  800-354-4595
Tennessee Fall Color Hotline: 800-697-4200

Weather Makes a Difference (by SUNY)
Fall color is highly dependent on the weather conditions before and during the change.

Red Colors: Warm, sunny days followed by cool nights (not freezing) are thought to bring about brilliant red colors. Sunny days promote the production of sugars within leaves, and cool nights prevent sugars from moving out of leaves. High levels of sugars and sunlight produce anthocyanins, which are responsible for reds and purples.

Yellow Colors: Because carotene, responsible for yellow hues, is found in leaves yearround, yellow colors tend to be relatively constant from year-to-year.

Delays: A late spring or prolonged summer drought can delay the appearance of fall colors.  An unusually warm period during the fall season can result in less intense colors.

Additional Articles
"Wildflowers Don't Care Where They Grow"
Why Are They Smoky?
Smoky Mountains Weather Lore
Southern Slang Dictionary

[Home] [Cabins & Hotels] [Smoky Mountain Campgrounds] [Outdoor Recreation] [Rainy Day Fun] [Seasonal Events] [Kids Coloring Page] [Mountain Sense] [Newsletter] [Recommended Links] [Contact Us for Information & Advertising]

Gatlinburg Weather, Pigeon Forge Weather & Smoky Mountain Local Weather Conditions
Sevier County, East Tennessee

2014 Autumn Welcomes Beautiful Fall Colors Whose Billiance Depends on the Amount of Rainfall and Timing of Frosts 2014 The Smokies are a Winter Wonderland With Mild Winter Temperatures and Light Snowfalls 2014 Cool Spring Weather Brings The Smoky Mountains to Life 2014 Summertime Weather in the Great Smoky Mountains Welcomes Annual Summer Festivals and Local Events that Get You Outdoors

Gatlinburg TN weather, Pigeon Forge weather & local weather forecast for the Great Smoky Mountains area of East Tennessee.  When planning your Gatlinburg vacation or Pigeon Forge getaway, be sure to include alternate Gatlinburg attractions and Pigeon Forge fun into your vacation schedule just in case Mother Nature and local weather conditions have something else in mind.  Gatlinburgtnweather.com offers resources for outdoor recreation, indoor rainy day activity, and even all weather fun rain or shine!  No matter what the season or temperature, cloudy or clear skies, there are plenty of things to do in the Smoky Mountains National Park area including many free local festivals and seasonal 2014 events.
10-day local weather forecast and climate synopsis courtesy of the weather channel .com.