DC’s cherry blossoms hit their second-earliest peak bloom on record

Washington, D.C.’s, signature cherry blossoms tied for their second earliest peak bloom record on Sunday.

“PEAK BLOOM! PEAK BLOOM! PEAK BLOOM! Did we say PEAK BLOOM?! The blossoms are opening & putting on a splendid spring spectacle. See you soon,” the National Park Service (NPS) for the National Mall wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

NPS previously estimated that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms in the nation’s capital would be March 23-26. Peak bloom is the date when 70 percent of the yoshino cherry tree blossoms are open around the Tidal Basin.

NPS noted that peak bloom for the cherry blossoms is typically between the last week of March and the first week of April, with variance based mostly on late winter temperatures. However, mild temperatures in D.C. in recent weeks likely contributed to the early peak bloom date.

Last year’s peak bloom date was also earlier than normal, with the peak bloom occurring on March 23. In 2022, peak bloom was recorded on March 21.

According to NPS, the earliest peak bloom date was March 15,1990. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that the second earliest peak bloom date on record was March 17, 2000, which means that the 2024 peak bloom date is tied for the second earliest date, according to data from NPS and the EPA.

This year’s peak bloom came before the National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. started. The festival, which typically garners large crowds of tourists, is scheduled for March 20 to April 14 and will have events and performances commemorating the cherry trees gifted to the U.S. by Japan in 1912.

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