- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - An expert on fall foliage who had earlier said leaf colors in the North Carolina mountains would be below average is changing her forecast

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports (http://avlne.ws/1mqQHrh) Western Carolina University resident leaf color expert Kathy Matthews says relatively dry conditions over the last month, along with cooling temperatures, have improved the outlook.

In her mid-August forecast, Mathews predicted a less-than-spectacular season because of consistent rain over much of the year. She said leaf color for trees getting abundant rain generally is muted, adding that the stress of dry soil causes colors to pop.

Matthews said while some trees are already showing some color, the Asheville area and other valley locations appear to be on pace for changes, which is in the second and third weeks of October.

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Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com

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