The cherry blossoms are now expected to reach peak bloom a few days ahead of the previous prediction.
The National Park Service announced Tuesday the peak bloom will now occur April 1. The original prediction made March 6 said it would reach peak bloom April 3-6.
According to the National Park Service, it's prediction date moved up because the indicator tree is in full bloom and temperature forecasts are in the upper 70s this weekend. Determining the peak bloom date requires checking both the forecast and where the trees are in the blooming process.
On Monday, the cherry blossoms reached stage 4, or peduncle elongation, which, per the National Cherry Blossom Festival website, typically occurs between 5-10 days prior to peak bloom. The cherry blossoms reached stage 3 this past Saturday, and stage 5, or peak bloom, typically occurs 4-6 days before the sixth and final stage, or peak bloom.
Last year, NPS said the cherry blossoms reached peak bloom on April 5. The average peak bloom is April 3.
Peak bloom lasts for at least several days but can last up to two weeks if weather permits. The best time to visit the trees on the Tidal Basin is 4-7 days after peak.
This year's annual National Cherry Blossom Festival is from March 20-April 14.