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Great weather for your Friday the 13th!

Despite this being a bad luck day, as far as superstitions goes, we should be feeling very lucky to have such a beautiful day in store for us. We had some dense fog this morning but that is now burning off nicely. Expect a sunny afternoon high in the upper 70s. You can expect a carbon copy of today’s weather on your Saturday. Overnight lows will fall into the upper 50s.

By Sunday, the weather begins to quickly change. A front will quickly approach from the west, bringing an increase in cloud cover and shower/t-storm chances. The best chance of rain looks to be around sunset and some storms could be strong. No widespread severe weather is expected, though. You won’t need me to tell you that a strong cold front has moved through when you step outside Monday. Highs will struggle to get out of the 50s and Monday night will be the coolest night of the season thus far. I don’t think we’ll see frost, but we’ll certainly be close! Lows by Tuesday morning should be in the 37-39 degree range. For Tuesday and the rest of the week, expect dry conditions and highs in the 60s, lows in the 40s.

The cool nights and warm afternoons will be just what the trees need in order to really start changing colors. The transformation between now and next weekend will probably be dramatic. This week the Fentress Courier printed my story on how we get fall colors. I’ve included it below. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you learn a little something. You all have a great weekend!

Fall Colors

Few things in this world are prettier than sunlight glistening off the beautiful fall colors of the trees. Those bright yellows, reds, and oranges contrasting with the evergreens and a big blue sky are a sight that just can’t be beat!

The brilliance of those colors has a lot to do with the diminishing daylight, as days get shorter and nights get longer, but the weather also plays a big role.

First of all, leaves consist of chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green color when they’re healthy. Leaves also contain two other substances called carotenoids and anthocyanins that can’t be seen as long as chlorophyll is present and dominating. Carotenoids give things like daffodils their yellow color. Anthocyanins give things like cherries their red color. Every tree has different levels of each color.

As daylight decreases, chlorophyll breaks down. This allows the carotenoids and anthocyanins to shine through. In other words, the other colors were always there, they just couldn’t shine through until the chlorophyll began breaking down.

Weather conditions determine how fast the chlorophyll breaks down. Ideally, you want a warm, wet spring (for lush, healthy leaves), followed by a summer that is free of drought, and then warm days and cool (not below freezing) nights in the fall. That is when you get the most brilliant fall colors. These conditions lead to the gradual closing off of the leaf veins, allowing the leaf to have time to change into beautiful colors.

Of course, windy days can take leaves off the trees faster too, so we don’t want too much wind.

We should be in for a beautiful fall around the plateau. No matter what is happening in this crazy world, we can always count on Ma Nature to remind us to pause and notice her beautiful work. And it’s definitely worth pausing for.DKxDuByXUAAHNJO

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