Satellite Sheldon: An Update for the Northeast; It Doesn’t Look Good for the Cherry Blossoms

| March 13, 2017 @ 3:02 pm

A little freshness to my last night post with new images and some wording changes. Hey, can’t improve upon a good forecast, so why try. Think we are good.

Unfortunately, Washington D.C.’s fabled cherry blossoms may not look like this for this year.

Don’t think as much for the Cherry Blossoms. Latest update on Cherry Blossoms from yesterday at: . Here are some parts from the story:

“As with frost, in the right (or wrong, if you will) mix of circumstances, freezing temperatures can damage the flowers and buds or even halt the bloom. It hasn’t ever actually stopped Washington DC’s cherry blossoms from blooming since records started being kept in the 1920s, but it remains a real possibility.

The effect that freezing temperatures and frost have on the cherry blossoms depends on what stage they’re at. While they’re wrapped tight, it’s not much of an issue. As they get further along the stages before flowering they become more vulnerable to frost and freezing. And that’s why it’s potentially an issue now.

Most of the trees are currently in what’s known as the peduncle elongation stage. The NPS judged that 70 percent of the Yoshinos had reached that stage as of March 8. And that just happens to be the stage at which they’re most vulnerable to frost and freezing.

It’s a two-pronged problem. Frost can cause damage. But even without the right mix of environment factors to actually create frost, cold temperatures below 28° can simply freeze them.

We’re currently seeing overnight temperatures dipping below that, with several more nights of that to come. And that opens the possibility of perhaps killing off large numbers of the flowers (it doesn’t hurt the trees themselves). One of the NPS experts has discussed the possibility using numbers ranging from 10 up to 90 percent of the blossoms being killed (not the trees themselves–they’ll be fine). The Post has an interesting article on this topic that’s worth reading.

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Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian

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