The Isothermal Belt and Late Autumn Color

The Isothermal Belt is a well documented micro-climate area east of Hendersonville, N.C., north of the S.C. border, and extends north to the Rutherford/McDowell County line. Because average temperatures in the zone are five degrees warmer than the surrounding area, the last frost of winter happens in early April, making this area ideal for growing apples. The early blossoms survive, making for a longer growing season. The area is the fourth largest in America for apple production. In the fall, these slightly warmer temps delay the period of peak color by up to two weeks after most of the southern mountains to the north and west. This year, above normal temperatures all over the mountains delayed the first frost by up to three weeks, and the color changes were much later than usual. Only now, in mid November, are the colors reaching their peaks, and it seems to have happened all at once, since the first frost happened just last week. These images were made yesterday, November 12th. And WOW……

Around Lake Lure
Youngs Mountain

Just north of Lake Lure is an overlook above the Cove Creek Valley, along the Eastern Blue Ridge Escarpment. These views are toward the north and east…

4 thoughts on “The Isothermal Belt and Late Autumn Color

  1. We live in Tryon, and the first peak of the Blue Ridge is visible from our driveway and living room. It’s absolutely breathtaking right now – a riot of color! I drove up to Arden yesterday and was in awe the whole way up Rt 26.

    • It’s remarkable how quickly everything changed. All the colors came at once. I plan to drive to Pearsons Falls to check out the beauty. So much so late in the season. Enjoy, and thank you…..

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