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Cold Weather Pushes Back Cherry Blossom Peak

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The March cold snap bumped back the expected peak bloom for cherry blossoms.
Michael Huey: http://www.flickr.com/photos/masteryofmaps/2364966707/
The March cold snap bumped back the expected peak bloom for cherry blossoms.

The National Park Service is updating its predicted peak bloom time for the District of Columbia's cherry trees, now saying the peak bloom will come in early April.

Officials had said the city's famous cherry tree blooms would be at their best between March 26 and March 30. Today the National Park Service updated its website to say the peak bloom dates would be April 3 through 6. Spokeswoman Carol Johnson says cold weather slowed the blossoms' development.

The average peak bloom date is April 4, but last year's peak bloom date came earlier on March 20, due to the warm weather.

Bloom season can last from as long as 14 days to just a few days, which officials still hope will coincide with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, scheduled to begin March 20 and ends on April 14, with the parade on April 13.

The cherry blossoms draw about 1 million visitors to the nation's capital each spring. This year marks the 101st anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan.

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