It's still February, but thanks to the recent stretch of unusually warm temperatures, many cherry blossom trees have started to bloom. According to CherryBlossomWatch.com, the forecast for peak cherry blossom bloom for DC in 2017 is mid-to-late March, but judging from some recent photos, it could be much, much sooner.
Cherry blossom tree blooming in the Sculpture Garden at the Hirshorn Museum Smithsonian Institution downtown Washington DC pic.twitter.com/arcQGQaWkw— Dave Rysak (@DaveFox5DC) February 23, 2017
Regardless of when they bloom, the National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place from March 20 – April 16, 2017.
The National Park Service has an extensive list of Peak Bloom dates from 2004 onwards. The average date the cherry blossom trees in Washington, DC hit their peak is April 4th.
According to their records, the earliest peak bloom happened in 1990, on March 15th, and 1958 as the year with the latest, which occurred on April 18th.
Signs of florets and peduncle elongation, like those that are already being seen, usually occur about 10 days before peak bloom is reached. This means peak bloom could happen as early as March 5th.
High temperatures in the DC Metro region have been record-breaking this year. With high forecasts expected to remain above 60° Fahrenheit for possibly the rest of February, the streak of most consecutive days hitting 60° or higher is expected to easily be broken.