D.C.'s famous cherry blossoms reached stage four of six on Thursday in their journey to peak bloom, according to the National Park Service.
Stage four is known as peduncle elongation, which is the last stage before you see petals. This indicates the blossoms will reach peak bloom within the next eight days, on average, the Park Service said.
This year’s warmer weather contributed to the acceleration of the blossoms’ peak bloom. On Wednesday, the Park Service updated their prediction for peak bloom to March 21 to 24, earlier than the original March 27 to 30.
“In the weeks since we made that initial announcement, we’ve had several days 10 degrees or higher than temperatures forecast. We’re looking at a continued warming trend for the next couple of weeks, and that’s causing us to reassess and re-project,” spokesman Mike Litterst said.
Storm Team4's Amelia draper compared past years' peak blooms with similar temperature profiles and predicted the peak dates would be March 18 to March 23.
Due to concern surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, Cherry Blossom Festival organizers announced events including the blossom kite festival, opening ceremony and pink tie party were either cancelled or postponed.