The Cherry Blossom Festival begins Wednesday, a day after a snow storm hit the D.C. metro area, covering the blossoms with snow and ice.
According to the National Park Service, the festival will begin March 15 and end April 2. Peak bloom for the blossoms is expected between March 19 and March 22, but for the first time in nearly a century, DC’s famous cherry blossom trees may not hit peak bloom.
“What causes the damage is the cold temperatures,” said Mike Litterst with National Park Service. “Twenty-seven degrees is sort of the magic number below that we can start to see some damage. If it gets down to 24 degrees we could see as much as 90 percent loss of the blossoms.”
The National Park Service started tracking the blooms since 1921, this is the first year they’ve seen the blooms at risk of being frozen out.