surrounding Asheville and Hendersonville serve as a moderating influence from
extreme conditions. Major snow storms are rare and annual precipitation is
around 50 inches and average annual snowfall is about 15 inches. The mountains
serve to keep the area cool also during the summer months, and with their higher
elevations are usually 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the lowlands of the
Carolinas and Georgia.
Spring in the Appalachians is a wondrous time, with mild days and nights.
Wildflowers are blooming
abundance and all chance of snow has virtually
disappeared by April. Summer brings more humidity and heat, although nothing
like what the lowlands experience. Late afternoon thunderstorms are common and
August usually brings a few weeks when it is hot enough for air conditioning.
Temperatures can reach over 90 degrees in Asheville and Hendersonville. Such
extremes are rare, however, at elevations over 4,000 feet. Winter doesn’t make
its presence shown until after Christmas, and January and February can be very
cold with temperatures dipping down below 20 degrees occasionally. Light snows
and ice storms occur frequently, although the snow rarely stays on the ground
for more than a few days. Big snowfalls can occur but they are rare. The Blizzard of ’93 dumped
three feet of snow on the ground in less than 24 hours!
One of the most beautiful seasons in the mountains is autumn, when the colorful
display of fall foliage
spreads throughout the mountains. The peaks and valleys
take on deep shades of crimson, brilliant orange, translucent yellow and earth
brown every fall during September and October.
Every year millions of visitors return to the mountains to admire this natural
pageant of beauty, and one of the major routes is the
Blue Ridge Parkway with
its unbroken vistas and towering mountain peaks.
The fall foliage usually reaches its peak in October, but the
intensity of color and peak for each area is also determined by elevation. The higher elevations
come into color first, followed by the lower ranges. Views from the Parkway can
show you various stages of this transformation, with full color above you on the
higher peaks and lush green in the valleys far below.