Despite this past weekend's chill, a freakishly warm February across much of the U.S. has caused flowers, trees and plants to bloom weeks early and also threatens to bring a whopper of an allergy season.
How early? In a large chunk of the U.S. from Texas to New York, spring arrived two to three weeks earlier than normal, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Phenology Network. In Washington, D.C., spring was 22 days early.
The peak bloom of the iconic cherry blossom trees in Washington could be one of the earliest ever, perhaps as early as March 14-17, according to the National Park Service. The record earliest peak bloom, when 70% of the blossoms are open, was on March 15, 1990.
"Spring is springing. Flowering trees are starting to do their thing," National Mall and Memorial Parks Superintendent Gay Vietzke said last week. The weekend chill shouldn't affect the cherry blossoms, the Capital Weather Gang's Kevin Ambrose told the Weather Channel on Sunday. The cold, however, did kill many magnolia blooms this weekend, he said.