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Cherry Blossom Peak Might Happen Earlier Than Ever Before

2 Mar 2017, 7:17 am

That’s right! We could be looking at the earliest bloom ever for those famous D.C. cherry blossoms.
Incredible warmth across the eastern U.S. this winter meant many residents saw early signs of spring, despite what the groundhog said. And for folks in our nation’s capital, that means the early return of some famous flowers– and allergies!

Warm Winter

No doubt about it!
Just look at the sheer number of records broken in February. When comparing warmth to cold, it’s almost laughable.

Because of this we’ve seen flowers bloom and trees bud, but now signs are pointing to the national mall getting an early start on a world famous tradition.

Hey Bud

Last Friday we hit the the first stage of the beautiful bloom, prompting the park service to ready the forecasters for peak prediction.

While the time between green bud phase varies depending on the given year, we know the average amount of time is about 25 days.
With last year’s peak bloom occurring just 17 days after green buds emerged!

Green Blossom: February 24th
Florets Visible: March 1st — 16-21 days to peak
Extension of Florets: 12-17 days to peak
Pronounced Elongation: 5-10 days to peak — Frost at this stage can kill off a bloom!
Puffy White: 4-6 days to peak

Forecasting an accurate peak bloom is next to impossible more than 10 days out, but when the green buds emerge forecasters can get an idea of when peak might occur.

Earliest on Record

The previous record for earliest peak was March 15, 1990.

Peak bloom is considered to be when 70% of the Tidal Basin yoshino cherry tree reaches the stage.

With this year’s peak forecast to start as early as March 14th, we could be looking at the earliest peak in history!

Cherry Blossom Festival

With average peak taking place on April 4th, the Cherry Blossom Festival stretches from March 15 to April 16 this year.

For more information, click the festival’s poster below:

Additional Information

Want some more info?
Head over to the National Park Service website for more!

The Bloom Watch page is a great resource!

See For Yourself

Can’t make it this year?

Check out this amazing live view, courtesy of

For WeatherNation — Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo

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