Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): Southern West Virginia is not the only part of the Mid-Atlantic that has been basking in the warm winter sunshine; the nation’s capital is coming off one of its warmest winters on record. All this heat could drive the famous tourist attraction, the Cherry Blossoms, to an early peak bloom. Check out Meteorologist Chad Merrill’s report below:
The Cherry Blossoms were given to Washington, D.C., as a friendship gift from Japan in the early 1900s. Each year in late March to early April, when the cherry blossoms bloom, the Tidal Basin is filled with rich, vibrant spring color. Many of you may have visited D.C. to see the cherry blossoms and/or partake in the Cherry Blossom Festival activities.
There are six stages of bloom and already on February 23, the blossoms entered into the first stage, the development of green buds and the second stage on March 1. The most recent year for the cherry blossoms to enter stage 2 in early March was 2017 when the peak bloom was around March 25.
The earliest peak bloom was March 15, 1990 and latest was April 18, 1958. The peak bloom is dictated by February and March temperatures in Washington and refers to when 70% of the blossoms at the Tidal Basin completely open.
Meteorologist Chad Merrill’s peak bloom prediction is March 28 due to the pattern flip to colder temperatures during at least the middle part of the month.
The National Park Service today announced their prediction of peak bloom and it says March 22-25.
For those interested in a weekend trip to the nation’s capital for cherry blossom festivities, click here.