From brown and snowy to lush greenery in a month. (NASA Worldview)

Spring has sprung rapidly this year in Washington. Snow is history, and greenery has exploded, overwhelming the cold, bleak landscape in just a few weeks.

Above-normal temperatures in recent weeks have propelled spring’s sudden arrival.

The USA National Phenology Network, which tracks the progress of spring across the country, shows Washington fully immersed in the season based on the emergence of leaves (or “leaf out”) and flowery blooms.

The leaves came in somewhat on the slow side this year compared with the average because of chilly weather in late March and early April. But, since then, there has been nothing to hold the season back.


How leaf out compares to normal this year. (National Phenology Network)

While Washington has become fully entrenched in spring, large parts of the central United States, repeatedly visited by deep cold and snowstorms throughout the winter, are still awaiting its arrival. But it shouldn’t be long, as the season continues to rapidly advance northward.

Once spring popped in Washington, it’s incredible how fast the landscape turned. In just four weeks, the city’s scenery transformed from barren and brown to lush and alive.


Comparing the view across recent Sundays in Washington. By Easter Sunday, greenery was in strong control. (National Park Service)

Satellites have also shown the sudden change.

While some of the high spots in the Mid-Atlantic — which had shovel-able snow only a month ago — are still waiting to go green, the process is quite far along or complete in most other spots.


From snow to greenery over the course of a month. (NASA Worldview)

A wide-angle look at the East Coast tells a similar tale.


The greening of the East Coast. (NASA Worldview)

The rapid change in season over a large zone is apparent, while mountainous locations and areas north of the Mid-Atlantic hang on to duller winter scenery just a little longer.

Leaf emergence will overtake most of the rest of the country in the days to weeks ahead, and peak bloom is on its way to the New York-to-Boston corridor as the warm season charges forward.