Satellite images reveal West Virginia’s peaking fall foliage

Fall color is emerging throughout the mountains of West Virginia, and while most enjoy the changing foliage when taking scenic drives or hikes, they can also catch a glimpse from space.

Earlier this week, satellite imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealed the change in color throughout parts of Appalachia, most notably in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

NOAA captured the images using its Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), which monitors clouds and weather conditions 22,300 miles above Earth’s surface.

The satellite’s data is used to detect severe weather conditions like hurricanes and flash floods. Likewise, meteorologists use the data to issue storm warnings and weather alerts throughout the year.

So, when’s the best time to view fall foliage? Experts say it depends on elevation.

In West Virginia, peak colors are viewable this week at higher elevations, and they’re expected to be more vibrant this fall than in recent years, according to the Foliage Report.

Fall foliage in the Blue Ridge Mountains is also peaking at elevations from 4,000 to 5,000 feet, according to Blue Ridge Mountain Life’s 2022 fall foliage forecast

In the meantime, the Foliage Report recommends now is the best time to view the emerging fall colors in West Virginia. These colors will soon fade going into November.

Satellite images of West Virginia’s fall foliage can be viewed in real-time using the GOES Image Viewer. The fall colors are best viewed on days with clear skies.

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