Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Delayed In Revised Forecast

A late-season cold snap has prompted the National Park Service (NPS) to push back its estimate of peak bloom dates for cherry blossoms at the DC Tidal Basin.

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Cherry blossoms begin to bloom around the DC Tidal Basin on March 6, 2017. (Jake West)

The revised NPS forecast pushes back peak bloom by five days from its previous forecast. Peak bloom is now estimated to take place between March 19-22. A press release states the cold weather expected in the coming days prompted the delayed peak bloom estimate.

“Using recent temperature data, the current progression of the blooming phases, and the weather forecast for the next seven days, the National Park Service is forecasting that March 19-22 will be the start of the peak bloom period for the cherry blossoms. Last week, the National Park Service projected the peak bloom would start between March 14 and 17; the colder than originally forecast temperatures predicted for this weekend have prompted the date change.” – NPS press release issued March 8, 2017

The delayed bloom forecast comes one day after NPS announced the blossoms have reached stage 3 of 6, indicating the extension of florets.

Cherry blossoms are considered to achieve peak bloom when at least 70% of cherry trees at the Tidal Basin are blossoming. Peak bloom in 2016 was reached on March 25, following three consecutive years of peak bloom occurring during the second week of April.

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