Peak bloom for cherry blossoms delayed to March 27-31, National Park Service says

- Peak bloom for cherry blossoms has been shifted back 10 days later than initially predicted, the National Park Service said Monday.

NPS officials say peak bloom is now likely to occur from March 27 through March 31, instead of between March 17 and March 20, as first thought. The NPS, which tracks the progress of the flowers' blooms, said because temperatures have been colder than originally forecast over the last 10 days, the peak bloom predictions have shifted.

Peak bloom is defined as the day when 70 percent of the Yoshino cherry trees around the city's Tidal Basin are blossoming. Once peak bloom is reached, the blossoms can remain on the trees from four to 10 days.

The National Park Service first announced their projected peak bloom dates for the blossoms on D.C.'s famous Yoshino cherry trees at the Newseum on March 1.

Mike Litterst, NPS spokesman, said average peak bloom is April 4. Last year, peak bloom was March 25.

Tickets for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony are already sold out.

This year's festival will run from March 20-April 15.

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