WASHINGTON - The cherry blossoms survived the weekend chill. Now, will they survive the snow?
Mike Litterst, chief of communications for the National Park Service, sure hopes so.
He said the blossoms were spared over the weekend because temperatures were just a bit warmer than originally predicted. "The blossoms are still hanging in there. One or two - here and there - are showing a little bit of damage and a little bit of brown. But overall, so far, we're very pleased that they've come through relatively unscathed."
This Monday night's snow coupled with cold temperatures later in the week are two more hurdles the blossoms must now face, he said. Snow piling up on the tree and lows in the teens could impact the flowers which are already in a fragile state since they are just emerging. "We made it through the first few days in good shape. But we're not out of the woods yet," he said.
Litterst said that there isn't much the National Park Service can do to protect the blossoms. "With 3800 trees around the Tidal Basin, that's a tall order to try and protect all of them. Of course, this is a national park, and the National Park Service allows nature to take its course. So we're just going to keep our fingers crossed and see what happens going forward for the next few days."