Sustainability Climate Change

DC’s peak cherry blossom bloom arrives early again

Sunrise as Cherry Blossoms bloom at Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
Anna Rose Layden
  • The Yoshino cherry blossoms have arrived in Washington, D.C., and reached peak bloom earlier than expected.
  • Typically, the flowers reach peak bloom around April 4 but hit the milestone on March 21 of this year.
  • The early arrival of peak bloom is another sign of warming spring temperatures.

A day after the official first day of spring, cherry blossoms have reached peak bloom level in Washington, D.C. early this year, the National Park Service announced.  

The light pink flowers have been described as the “stars” of Washington, D.C., with thousands flocking to the Tidal Basin every year to bask in the scent and visual splendor of the iconic flora.  

This year’s peak bloom has arrived 10 days ahead of the tree’s average peak bloom date of April 4, according to National Park Services records, a day before the agency predicted peak bloom would begin this spring. 


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The agency has been keeping track of the cherry blossom bloom periods since 1921, with the earliest peak bloom date occurring on March 15, 1990, and the latest on April 18, 1958, according to data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  

Peak bloom is defined by the National Park Service as the day when 70 percent of the Yoshino Cherry blossoms are open, and it can vary each year depending on weather conditions, the agency’s website states.  

Changes to weather can affect exactly when the cherry blossoms reach peak bloom with warmer springs resulting in the flowers budding and blossoming early.  

Washington, D.C., experienced a warmer February this year with no measurable snowfall and an average temperature of 42.6 degrees, 2.6 degrees warmer than normal, according to The Washington Post.  

This year is the third year in a row that the cherry blossoms have reached peak bloom ahead of their typically early April date.  


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