On March 12, the National Park Service announced they were pushing back their cherry blossom peak bloom time to March 27–31.If you have been keeping up with the cherry blossom schedule this year, then you know it's been a real nail-biter! The National Park Service (NPS) originally predicted that the peak bloom time would be March 17–20. An usually cold past few days in Washington, D.C., has caused the NPS to revise their prediction. The NPS currently predicts the peak bloom time for the cherry blossoms will be March 27–31. And the Washington Post has pushed back their prediction even further -- from March 23–27 to March 30–April 3. [caption id="attachment_7753" align="aligncenter" width="459"] Courtesy of Cherry Blossom Watch[/caption] The National Park Service stated, "While the mathematical models still show the blossom reaching peak on March 18, this week’s cooler than forecast temperatures have necessitated moving the projection to the last week of March." The trees bloom the fastest in warm weather. Any Washington, D.C., resident can tell you the past few days have been cold and windy! [gallery type="rectangular" ids="7754,7758,7755"]
The peak bloom period is the time when 70 percent of the Yoshino cherry blossoms are opened. Visitors should act fast as the trees may only stay opened for a few days depending on the weather. Don't worry too much, though; even if you miss the peak time period, it does not necessarily mean you will miss the cherry blossoms. The cherry blossoms can sometimes be visible for over a week after the peak bloom time if the weather stays dry and cool. If you end up very behind on the peak blossom period, you can check out the Kwanzan cherry blossoms, a separate variation of cherry blossoms that peak a few weeks after the Yoshino cherry blossoms. The NPS does stress that it is almost impossible to predict the peak bloom time more than 10 days in advance, so visitors should stay tuned for updates. For up to the minute updates, visit the cherry blossom camera! What do you think? Will you be visiting the cherry blossoms this year?