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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Awesome : Winter Storm Endangers Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC

A late season winter storm that walloped the U.S. northeast has threatened Washington's D.C. famed cherry blossom trees, a huge tourist draw in the spring season. The overnight storm left the partially-bloomed flowers coated with ice and the National Park Service has asked visitors to let it melt naturally and avoid shaking the branches to prevent damage to the trees.Officials are also keeping a close watch on temperatures this week as the flowers inch closer to peak bloom stage.

Peak bloom refers when 70 percent of the blossoms of Yoshino cherry trees, the most abundant of the 12 species around the Tidal Basin, are in bloom. Once in bloom, the flowers can last four to 10 days.
The Park Service says if temperatures dip below 24 degrees, the cherry blossoms could die - something that hasn't happened in nearly a century.

The Moser family, visiting from Iowa, braved the snow to enjoy what little has already bloomed.
"But we've seen this before back home, you know, the tree are starting to sprout, then we get a freeze too and then it sets things back for a while. Now this is a shame this is probably going to happen. It's so cold, but that's Mother Nature for you," said Iowa resident Jerry Moser on March 14. The blooming of the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin is one of the U.S. capital's major tourist attractions. The city's Cherry Blossom Festival draws thousands of visitors daily and is one of the biggest U.S. springtime parties.This year's festival is still taking place, but has been pushed back a few days to March 25.


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