NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The cooler mornings and warm afternoons seen of recent weeks is projected to produce a vibrant and colorful fall foliage season. The peak colors will start in Eastern Tennessee and travel westward through the month of October.

News 2 spoke with Travis Watson from East Tennessee State University, and he contributes the anticipated fall colors to three factors: daylight, temperature, and precipitation.

While precipitation can vary from year to year, the decent rainfall received in the late summer months, and drier weather in recent weeks, has allowed leaves to remain on the tree. Watson says “They (trees) have not had the drought stress that causes them to lose those leaves. With our temperatures now starting to stay seasonably cool, we’re set up well for great colors.”

As foliage begins to peak in Eastern Tennessee into early October, Travis Watson from ETSU expects more color consistency, specifically of the color red.

“In the Southern Appalachians and across Tennessee, we are blessed with a lot of variation. So combined with the cool night, warm and sunny days, and some rainfall, this will all set us up for a lot of the red {leave colors} which depend upon those factors,” said Watson.

Where to see Fall foliage in early October

East Tennessee is the place to be for excellent foliage in the early days of October. The Foothills Parkway is very popular in the Smokey Mountains.

“Mixbook”, a provider of customized photo products, ranked a few locations in Tennessee for people to witness the best fall foliage. On this list included Frozen Head State Park, Roan Mountain State Park, and Fall Creek Falls.

In Middle Tennessee, expect fall colors to peak in the next few weeks, and especially by mid-October! When you see the foliage in your area, be sure to send your photo or video to us at

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