Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): While spring flowers are emerging across southern West Virginia, the season is pushed forward in the warmer climate of Washington, D.C. The famous cherry blossoms are now in full bloom. Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill was there to partake in the festivities this past weekend!
The Yoshino cherry trees were a gift from Japan in 1912. The first Cherry Blossom Festival took place in Washington in 1935.
As for the blossoms themselves, they go through six stages of development each year. How fast they transition to full bloom depends on the February and March temperatures. Last year, peak bloom, which is defined as 70-percent of the blossoms being open, occurred on March 21. The National Park Service makes the call when the blossoms hit each stage, including peak bloom. This year, peak bloom was Thursday, March 23.
Each year, peak bloom attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Tidal Basin.
The earliest peak bloom on record was March 15, 1990 thanks to a very warm late winter and early spring season. A cold end to winter and spring pushed forward the peak blooms to April 18, 1958.
The blossoms will remain in peak bloom stage through the end of the week thanks to a mild weather pattern with little wind or heavy rain in Washington.