The National Cherry Blossom Festival began on Saturday. While this time of year is rarely consistently mild, the festival can be considered the unofficial beginning of D.C.’s warm season. Not this year.

Snow on the Tidal Basin during the cherry blossom bloom is not a common event. It happened as recently as 2007, but in that year the snowfall came at the tail end of the bloom when many of the trees had already gone green. Prior to that, there had been no accumulating snow in this time interval since at least 1990. Sunday’s accumulation was “barely there” but to get any snow while the trees are in bloom is notable.

Keep reading to see more photos of the light accumulation of snowfall during the first weekend of the 2011 National Cherry Blossom Festival...

After waking up around 6 a.m., and looking outside at the mega-dusting, I considered going back to bed. Alas, I made it to my first “sunrise” shoot of my five-plus years in the city. In the end, even with minor accumulation, what little snow fell added wonderfully to the scene of blossoms just days from peak.