The best sign of spring in DC: Cherry blossoms are starting to bud

Let Bloom Watch begin!

Even though it’s still a bit cold and dreary in D.C., there’s a good reason to start thinking about spring—the city’s prized cherry trees are starting to bloom.

“The #BloomWatch is underway!” the National Park Service exclaimed on Twitter, announcing that the Yoshino cherry trees reached green bud on Sunday. That’s the first of six stages, which ends with the moment we all look forward to every year in D.C.—peak bloom.

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NPS is expected to announce the projected peak bloom date on Thursday.

This year's Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off Saturday, March 24.

If last year’s blossoms are any indicator of this year—and knowing the weather around here, it's so tough to tell—we could see a similar peak bloom day as we did in 2017.

Last year, the trees reached the green bud stage on Feb. 24—one day earlier than they did this year.

Last year’s peak bloom was on March 25.

Visitors enjoy the blossoms as cherry trees around Tidal Basin are in peak bloom March 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. The blossoms survived after a late winter ice and snowstorm freezed and killed more than 50% of the developed Yoshino cherry blossoms.

Also, a mid-March cold snap last year damaged 35 percent of the trees around the Tidal Basin, meaning they never hit peak bloom.

For the sake of the cherry blossoms, let’s hope the cold days of Old Man Winter are behind us this year!