Lovely autumn weather is the story for the week ahead with sunshine and high temperatures in the 70s. October is normally one of our prettier and drier months and it's going to live up to that reputation this week. 

Long range models indicate a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico this week that could move northward and that would be the only threat of significant precipitation for the Plateau looking down the road a week or two.

September finished near-normal on temperatures but rainfall was over an inch below normal for a change. Crossville measured 2.76 and the average for September is 4. The highest official report in the county was 3.31 around Homestead and Grassy Cove.

Mid-to-late October will bring the most beautiful time of our autumn tree colors. The conditions that make for spectacular autumn color displays are a moist growing season followed by a dry autumn with warm, sunny days and cool (but not freezing) nights. 

In the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.  

You can reach me anytime at weather1@charter.net.