It's an unseasonably warm morning at the Jefferson Memorial, and the cherry blossoms are already beginning to grace the Potomac tidal basin with their beauty. Temperatures are expected to top 80 degrees in much of the D.C. region today, and the warm weather that has kept residents balmy in recent weeks means that the cherry blossoms' peak time has been moved up a few days.
The peak blossom period is now expected to be from March 20-23; just a couple of weeks ago, blossom experts predicted the peak period would fall sometime between March 24-31.
Even though most of the tender flowers are still inside their buds, people are already heading down to the tidal basin to enjoy the sites and the good weather.
"It's absolutely gorgeous; June in March," says Debbie Filmey of Severn, Md., who was walking around the tidal basin this morning. "It's warm, beautiful, the cherry blossoms are just getting read to explode. You couldn't ask for a better day."
With the high temperatures also comes pollen count implications, however; the regional pollen count has gone from 33 grains/cubic meter three days ago to 225 grains/cubic meter today.