WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The National Park Service has bumped up dates for the cherry blossoms’ peak blooming period. Due to this winter’s balmy temps, the bloom is expected earlier than the average of April 4. Two weeks ago, expert bloom predictor Rob DeFeo said to expect maximum gorgeousness between March 24 and March 31.

Today, WNEW Reporter George Mesthos says the peak bloom for the Cherry Blossoms is now expected on Tuesday, March 20th.

Unusually warm or cold temps can affect the blooming, with the earliest ever recorded on March 15, 1990 and the latest to-date on April 18, 1958.

Meteorologist Howard Bernstein had a perfectly good explanation for the early bloom. “We had an incredibly mild winter, one of the warmest Februaries on record and the last week or so we’ve been in the 70′s now and we even got some 80 degree readings.” Bernstein continued, “With temps running 20, 25, even 30 degrees above average…no mystery why things have been blooming out all over.”

Click through some of the photos of the Cherry Blossoms we’ve gathered. If you’re looking for different ways to enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival, we’ve put together a guide to help you find just the right bit of fun for you and the family – click here.


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