LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — The peak bloom dates for the cherry blossoms have been pushed back due to cold weather, officials said.

The National Park Service announced Tuesday that the District’s cherry blossom trees on the Tidal Basin likely will be in full bloom between April 3-6. National Park Service cherry tree expert James Perry previously predicted the peak bloom period to be between March 26-30.

This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival already is planned for March 20 through April 14.

The average peak bloom date is April 4, but last year’s peak bloom date came earlier on March 20, due to the warm weather. Recent colder weather delayed this year’s peak bloom period.

RELATED: D.C. events happening during the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Metro is taking a break from its usual weekend track work for cherry blossom season.

The transit agency says it won’t conduct weekend work beginning this weekend and through April 14.

Metro says ridership increases by an average of more than 15 percent during the cherry blossom season. Weekend ridership can double to near-weekday levels during nice weather as people head to see the flowers.

The cherry blossoms draw about 1 million visitors each spring. This year marks the 101st anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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