March 4, 2014 / 5:48 PM / 5 years ago

Sign of spring: Washington's cherry trees seen in peak bloom April 8-12

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Residents of the U.S. capital tired of this winter’s repeated storms and prolonged cold can take heart in one sign of spring: Washington’s renowned cherry trees are expected to reach peak bloom in a little more than a month.

Despite this week’s record cold in the region, the city’s cherry trees are expected to reach the peak of their bloom from April 8 to 12, near the end of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, said festival spokeswoman Danielle Davis, citing a National Park Service forecast.

The forecast is in line with last year’s peak, reached on April 9.

The National Park Service “will keep us updated, but this is the prediction right now,” she said.

The Cherry Blossom Festival, one of the biggest U.S. springtime parties, will run from March 20 to April 13.

The festival normally draws more than a million visitors to enjoy white and pink blooms on about 3,800 trees around the capital’s Tidal Basin.

Peak bloom is defined as when 70 percent of Yoshino cherry trees, the basin’s most common trees, are open. The 2012 peak was on April 9, and the average since 1992 is March 31.

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Scott Malone and Chizu Nomiyama

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