But blossoms’ buds have yet to burst, slowed by the unseasonably chilly weather. Are they at all threatened by the cold weather? The opposite said Robert DeFeo – then chief horticulturalist of the National Park Service in a Washington Post online chat in 2006.
“[Cold temperatures] are actually good from the perspective of the festival in that the opening of the cherries and their development through the blooming period is a biological process which is slowed down by cooler temperatures,” DeFeo said. “Therefore, the cooler temperatures are going to prolong the blooming period…”
Only extraordinarily cold weather could damage the blossoms, with temperatures dropping into the teens DeFeo said. Temperatures at the Tidal Basin probably won’t drop much below 30 in the next few days before milder conditions return.
The blossoms remain on track for a peak bloom late in the first week of April.
“The blooming period starts several days before the peak bloom date and can last as long as 14 days, however, frost or high temperatures combined with wind or rain can shorten this period,” the National Park Service says on its website.