Today we enter day four of our freakish late-winter heat wave. While few will complain of the glorious temperatures and ample sunshine, there’s something off-putting about this type of weather — and that it could end up lasting close to two weeks. There’s a number of ways this weather is affecting us and our habits. Here’s a few:
Cherry Blossoms: If you’re a tourist and had planned a trip to see the city’s famed cherry blossoms reach peak bloom from March 24 to 28, you better reschedule that trip — yesterday the National Park Service moved the peak bloom up to March 20 to 23. The sooner-than-expected bloom has other unintended consequences: The National Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates its centennial this year, will likely take place after the cherry blossoms have peaked.
Allergies and Claritin’s Profit Margins: Related to the early blooming, people who suffer from allergies are in substantially more pain than usual for this time of the year. According to the Capital Weather Gang, pollen is up — way up. “Over the last three days, the tree pollen count has risen from 33 grains per cubic meter Monday to 129 Tuesday to 225 today. Levels have averaged well above normal since mid-February,” it wrote yesterday. You may be sniffling and tearing up, but the folks behind Claritin are celebrating.
Indoor Temperatures: I was sitting in the Southeast Library on Capitol Hill yesterday, and some of patrons complained that the building was stuffy. There wasn’t much the librarians could do, though — the city’s library system doesn’t turn on the A/C until May. My guess is that many agencies, institutions and groups that operate out of aging buildings are suffering the same fate. (Heaven forbid you’re a teacher in an old building.) On this plus side for most homeowners and renters, your March heating bill is likely to be way lower than usual.
Productivity: Raise your hand if you’ve taken an extra long lunch break this week. Raise your hand if you’ve spent otherwise productive minutes staring out the window, longing for the chance to escape the confines of your stuffy office. (See above.) Surprised that anything is getting done in town these days? We certainly are.
[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]