Ashton Bingham

Spring is ahead of schedule.

Melanie Lieberman
February 24, 2017

Despite Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction that we’d have six more weeks of winter, the trees in Washington, D.C. are telling us a different story.

D.C.’s famous Yoshino cherry trees are already beginning to bloom, according to local reports, thanks to steadily rising temperatures throughout February. In the last week alone, daytime temperatures have exceeded 80 degrees Fahrenheit—the historical average is 48 to 50 degrees.

Local radio station 97.1 WASH-FM is forecasting the peak bloom could arrive as early as March 5. That’s 10 days earlier than the earliest peak bloom in recorded history: March 15, 1990.

That could be bad news for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which is scheduled to take place from March 20 until April 16, 2017.

And it’s not just the cherry blossom trees that are showing early signs of spring. At the National Mall, the apricot trees have been displaying their delicate white and pink blooms for more than a week.

DCist writer Rachel Sadon cites blooming honeysuckles and budding crocuses as additional indicators of an early spring. Scientists, she added, put the flowers at about 22 days early.

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