JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – East Tennessee State University’s (ETSU) campus arborist reports the weather looks like it could create a bright and colorful fall.

ETSU is once again offering its weekly fall color predictions with the help of campus arborist Travis Watson. Thursday marked the first of those predictions with Watson noting colors were already starting to show in some of the highest elevations in the Appalachian Mountains.

“Having those bright sunny days during the fall is really a bonus,” Watson said in the first prediction on ETSU’s website. “We will get a really nice display of those reds if we can keep sunny days and cool nights.”

Watson predicted that the mountainous areas of East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina will see peak fall foliage in the first week of October. The lower elevation areas will be at their most vibrant shortly after in early October, according to Watson.

That prediction hinges on the weather, however, as strong storms or cooler-than-average temperatures could make the leaves change color earlier or fall sooner.

“The biodiversity we enjoy in the Appalachian Highlands, including vegetation and trees that are truly diverse, so often makes for a stunning autumn,” Watson said.  

ETSU will continue to provide fall color predictions each Thursday through the end of the season.