The gorgeous pink blooms of the cherry trees that dot the National Mall in Washington, D.C., have finally reached peak bloom, officials announced yesterday (April 9).
Peak bloom is reached when 70 percent of the blooms on the Yoshino Cherry trees (there are many different types of cherry trees) have fully opened, according to the website of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The period of peak bloom can last for up to 14 days, the site says.
The blooming has been delayed this spring because of the cold beginning to the season, though that cold could mean the blooms last longer. Over the long term, though, global warming seems to be raising March temperatures in D.C. (these temperatures are a key predictor of when the cherry blossoms will bloom, according to a National Park Service horticulturalist), and the peak bloom date there is shifting earlier, according to an analysis performed by Jason Samenow at the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang blog.
Take a gander at the cherry blossoms at the NPS's webcam.
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Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.