In light of the colder than expected temperatures forecast for the next week, the folks at the National Park Service have revised their peak bloom forecast and pushed it back to March 19 to 22. It's not at all unusual for their forecasts to be revised as we get closer to the date as the actual weather conditions diverge from the long-range weather forecast they initially relied upon.
While the area is currently seeing a short stretch of warm weather, a blast of very cold air is expected to come in for the weekend.
The NPS also determined that 70 percent of the Yoshinos have reached the peduncle elongation stage as of today, March 8. That's the fourth of the six stages they track.
Here's their press release issued this afternoon:
Using recent temperature data, the current progression of the blooming phases, and the weather forecast for the next seven days, the National Park Service is forecasting that March 19-22 will be the start of the peak bloom period for the cherry blossoms. Last week, the National Park Service projected the peak bloom would start between March 14 and 17; the colder than originally forecast temperatures predicted for this weekend have prompted the date change.
Peak bloom occurs when 70% of the Yoshino cherry trees, the most abundant of the 12 species around the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park, are in bloom. Once in bloom, the flowers can last four to 10 days, depending on weather conditions. Additional varieties of trees bloom later than the Yoshinos. For example, the start of the peak bloom period for the Kwanzan trees, the second most abundant variety, is currently projected for April 11.