WASHINGTON — This year’s mild winter, along with warmer temperatures forecast this weekend, could mean Washington’s famous cherry blossoms pop out early.
“Certainly all of those things point toward an earlier bloom,” Mike Litterst, spokesman with the National Park Service, told WTOP.
But that might not be true if the weather pattern changes significantly.
“A week from now, we could be in a cold snap,” he said. “We could have 6, 8 inches of snow on the ground and that could change everything.”
The earliest date that D.C.’s blossoms have appeared was in 1990, when the bloom occurred on March 15, Litterst said. The latest bloom was April 18 in 1958.
This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival is set for March 20-April 16, and the official predicted peak bloom dates will be announced March 1.
When WTOP visited the cherry trees along the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial Wednesday, there was no sign of green on the buds at all.
On the other hand, a few cherry trees are actually blooming now on the National Mall — but that’s not unusual.
They are “autumn flowering” cherries, and you can find them between the Washington Monument and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Also, don’t be fooled by a bunch of trees with white and pink blossoms on them now near the D.C. War Memorial.
According to the Park Service, those are flowering apricot trees, which are typically the first trees to bloom on the National Mall every year.
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