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Cherry blossoms reach peak flower, tied for third earliest on record


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Cherry blossoms reach peak flower, tied for third earliest on record

Victoria Stevenson, who works for D.C. Public Schools, sits by the Tidal Basin and works on a sketch of the cherry blossoms Thursday. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post) On an unseasonably warm Friday morning, the National Park Service announced that Washington’s cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin reached an unusually early peak bloom. The March 20…

Cherry blossoms reach peak flower, tied for third earliest on record

John McDonnell/The

Victoria Stevenson, who works for D.C. Public Schools, sits by the Tidal Basin and works on a sketch of the cherry blossoms Thursday. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

On an unseasonably warm Friday early morning, the National forest Service revealed that Washington’s cherry blooms at the Tidal Basin reached an uncommonly early peak flower.

The March 20 peak blossom is the earliest since 2012 (when it also occurred on March 20) and tied for the third earliest on record In the Park Service’s 99- year record dating to 1921, the only years with earlier flower dates were 1990 (March 15) and 2000 (March 17).

Typically, the cherry blossoms attract 1.5 million visitors but much smaller numbers are expected this year.

Because of the coronavirus, regional authorities are advising Tidal Basin visitors to keep social range or prevent the location altogether A live stream of the Tidal Basin is available to see the blossoms remotely.

[Can you safely visit the cherry blossoms amid the coronavirus crisis?]

National forest Service

The National forest Service displays all of the preventive steps on the indication near the Tidal Basin for the watching of the cherry blooms due to the coronavirus Thursday. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

On Friday morning, as the blooms struck peak, the live stream revealed a constant flow of visitors however much lighter crowds than normal.

The National Cherry Blossom Celebration, which runs March 20 to April 12, canceled all events including the April 4 parade.

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Unusually warm weather condition during late winter and early spring moved the blooms to the early flower, some 11 days ahead of the 30- year average of March and two weeks ahead of the longer-term (1921 to 2019) average of April 3.

By definition, peak bloom occurs when 70 percent of the cherry trees are blooming.

When peak bloom is reached, the bloom petals can remain for a week or two if it’s dry and winds are light. However in some years, petals have actually fallen off earlier due to the fact that of wind, rain or frost.

This year, the finest bloom viewing is most likely between Friday and Sunday although breezy conditions into the weekend may result in some loss of petals. On Saturday night, there’s an outdoors chance of frost, however temperature levels must stay above freezing and the danger of damage or significant wilting is small.

By Sunday night and Monday, steady rain is anticipated which might end the peak flower duration.

Due to the uncommon heat, peak bloom occurred on the early side of forecasts.

The Capital Weather Gang had anticipated peak bloom to take place in between March 20 and 24 (a modification from an initial projection of March 25 to 29). The National forest Service’s projection for peak flower was in between March 21 and 24 (a modification from an initial forecast of March 27 to 30).

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