As the icy, winter chill starts to subside across the U.S., the Yoshino cherry trees gracing Washington, D.C. hit peak bloom Thursday, but at a delayed start which has not been seen since 1993.
"It's probably the coldest the Northeast has seen since 1993-94," Meteorologist Dave Dombek said in March.
Japan presented the U.S. with more than 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees in 1912 to celebrate the relationship between the two countries, sparking the nation's first cherry blossom festival in 1927.
In 1993, the blossoms for the National Cherry Blossom Festival hit peak bloom on April 11, according to the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s website.
The peak bloom date is defined as the day when 70 percent of the Yoshino Cherry blossoms are open, according to the National Park Service.
“Peak bloom varies annually depending on weather conditions. The most likely time to reach peak bloom is between the last week of March and the first week of April,” the National Park Service reports. “Extraordinary warm or cool temperatures have resulted in peak bloom as early as March 15 (1990) and as late as April 18 (1958).”
Temperatures this weekend will approach 80 degrees F in Washington, D.C. providing a warm finish to the 25 day long festival that attracts 1.5 million visitors each year.
Temperatures will rise this weekend to about 10 to 20 degrees F above normal in the region, AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
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