WASHINGTON

Cherry Blossoms Now in Puffy White Stage, Peak Bloom Expected Sooner

D.C.'s famed cherry blossoms aren't letting this cold get them down!

The National Park Service said Sunday the blossoms are now in stage five of six and peak bloom will likely come by the end of the week -- sooner than the April 8 to 12 dates the NPS previously announced.

"It's no April Fool! Cherry blossoms have advanced to stage 5 - puffy white. Next stop is peak bloom, expected by the end of the week given the continued mild forecast," the NPS tweeted. "Plenty to see now - weeping cherries in full bloom, 20% of Yoshinos at peak. #BloomWatch #CherryBlossomDC"

The blossoms have had their peak bloom date pushed back twice (thanks, cold weather).

On Thursday, they reached stage four of six.

"It's here!! It's here! Say it with me, all together now...PEDUNCLE ELONGATION!!" the NPS wrote on Twitter. "No better way to celebrate the end of 29 consecutive days with high temps below 60 degrees than advancing to the fourth stage of the #BloomWatch! Just two more to go."

Peduncle elongation is the most scientific-sounding (and hardest-to-pronounce) phase.

Some of the blossoms, 20 percent, are actually already in peak bloom, the NPS said Sunday. The weeping cherry blossom trees are also in full bloom.

Peak bloom is defined as when at least 70 percent of the trees around the Tidal Basin are blossoming. Once they reach peak bloom, the blossoms can remain on the trees from four to 10 days.

Last year's peak bloom was predicted between March 14 through March 17, but a cold snap damaged some of the blossoms and pushed it back five days. 

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