Cherry Blossoms Reach “Puffy White” Stage

Cherry blossoms have entered their first two phases this year later than any time in the past decade

It's finally happening! The cherry blossoms have reached the "puffy white" phase, their last stop-off before that long-awaited peak bloom.

The puffy white phase kicks off about 4-6 days before peak bloom, the National Park Service (NPS) website says.

If it feels like we've been waiting forever for this, you're not far off. After a long (long, long) winter, D.C.'s cherry trees entered their first and second phases later this year than any time in the past decade.

Then, aided by a few warm days, the blossoms then handily rocketed through the next two stages, both of which are fairly scientific-sounding: extension of florets and peduncle elongation.

They're not to be outdone by that puffy white stage, though. Even though the stage doesn't sound nearly as official, the puffy white era is when the blossoms really get gorgeous. Peak bloom is likely coming up this weekend and into early next week, predicted for April 11-14.

Go get outside already!

Got photos? Tweet them @nbcwashington or email them to isee@nbcwashington.com.

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