The cold and snow after a string of unusually warm weather is having a big impact on crops and vegetation across the South and Midwest, but it’s also troubling an iconic set of trees in our nation’s capital.
The world-famous cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., due to peak early next week, suffered damage after a bout of unusually frigid and snowy conditions this week, the National Park Service (NPS) said on Wednesday. The NPS examined the trees on Wednesday and found “widespread” damage to trees that were in the fifth stage (out of six) of the blooming process.
That said, the trees are still expected to bloom early-to-mid next week, the NPS said, with an expected bloom date between the 19th and 22nd, nearly two weeks ahead of the typical peak on April 1st.
Temperatures at nearby Reagan National Airport dipped to 28° on Wednesday morning, coupling with the approximately 3″ of snow that fell on Tuesday to damage the trees. The NPS says temperatures that fall into the upper 20s damage the blossoms, and the greatest damage occurs at 24° or below.
That said, temperatures are expected to moderate in the coming days. After Friday morning’s mercury dips down to the upper 20s, however, temperatures are expected to stay above freezing for the next week, which should help the blossoms as they ease into an unusually early peak next week.
Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on these wonderful trees and the freeze across the South.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi – Photos: Courtesy National Park Service (NPS) National Mall