This year’s winter weather is causing whiplash to more than just Washingtonians—it’s also confusing D.C.’s cherry blossoms!
January was been the third-warmest on record for D.C. This was followed by a warm February, that broke a 150-year-old record at Reagan National Airport on Thursday, February 23, hitting a high of 81 degrees.
Now, the cherry blossoms are starting to take notice! There are inklings of buds around the Tidal Basin, and snowdrops have already begun to emerge in some areas.
“It’s happening!” the National Park Service tweeted on February 23. “Small green buds are on the Yoshino cherry trees, marking the first of six stages on the way to peak bloom.”
Peak bloom refers to the day 70% of the Yoshino cherry blossoms are open.
D.C. may very well reach peak bloom earlier than normal as warmer conditions have continued to prevail. The National Park Service will announce their projected peak bloom prediction on Wednesday, March 1.
Over the last 10 years, the earliest peak bloom was March 20 in 2020 and 2012.
The 2023 National Cherry Blossom Festival will run from March 20 through April 16.