Early peak forecast for DC cherry blossoms

Story highlights

  • National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington runs March 15-April 16
  • US National Park Service predicts this year's peak could be earliest on record

(CNN)Washington's cherry blossoms are getting ready to put on a show.

The city's Yoshino cherry trees have reached their second bloom stage, the time when florets are visible. There are four more stages before peak bloom, the National Mall and Memorial Park Service tweeted on March 2.
Peak bloom, which can last from four to 10 days, is reached when 70% of the blossoms are open on the cherry trees surrounding the Tidal Basin.
    If you want to see the blossoms in their full splendor, it's time to make plans to head to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which starts March 15 and goes through April 16.
    The National Park Service predicts the Yoshino cherry trees will be at their peak from March 14-17. If that prediction is accurate, it would be the earliest peak on record.
    The festival moved up its start date from March 20 to March 15 in response to the updated forecast.
    The month-long celebration marks the 1912 gift from Tokyo of 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, and includes an April 1 Blossom Kite Festival and an April 8 parade that runs 10 blocks along Constitution Avenue.