Cold weather spell threatens DC's famed cherry blossoms

  • Cold weather spell threatens DC's famed cherry blossoms

Cold weather spell threatens DC's famed cherry blossoms

"Horticulturalists examining the trees found widespread damage in blossoms that had reached 'puffy white, ' the fifth of six stages in the bloom cycle", NPS officials said in a news release.

Take a breath of relief because Washington, D.C.'s cherry blossoms are going to be okay, despite the snow accumulation from this winter's Storm Stella.

"They've seen snow, cold temperatures, wind", National Park Service (NPS) spokesman Mike Litterst told AFP on Monday. However, if temperatures drop to 24 degrees, there's a potential for "as much as 90 percent damage".

The park service said that some trees will still reach peak bloom, but the number of blooming trees will be reduced because of the cold.

Local forecasts expect lows close to 23 degrees into Wednesday morning.

Peak bloom refers when 70 percent of the blossoms of Yoshino cherry trees, the most abundant of the 12 species around the Tidal Basin, are in bloom.

Washington's famed cherry blossoms are covered in ice during a late winter storm in Washington, Tuesday, March 14, 2017, looking toward the Washington Monument. Other types of cherry blossom trees, including the Kwanzans, are expected to be protected from the cold. Peak bloom is the sixth and final phase.

Numerous blossoms are particularly vulnerable to the cold because they are close to peak bloom, which is set to start Sunday, and are exposed from the protection of their buds, the Park Service said. They also said that the flowers might damage when temperatures fall on to 27 degrees.