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Still too early for wind to impact cherry blossoms, Park Service says

Mike Litterst spoke about the forecast and what it means for peak bloom.

WASHINGTON — Windy conditions expected in the DMV this week have some concerned about the cherry blossoms in the region. Wind gusts up to 50 mph are expected in the region on Tuesday and Wednesday. Despite those strong winds, Mike Litterst with the National Park Service said the blossoms should be safe.

The blossoms around the Tidal Basin are currently in stage four, peduncle elongation. Peak bloom is the sixth and final stage.

"I don't think wind at this stage is going to be an issue. The petals for the most part have not started to emerge yet, or if they have they're not far along," Litterst said. "Even when the petals do come out, the earlier in the bloom the stronger they are, the tighter they're holding on to those branches."

Litterst said the petals are particularly vulnerable during peak bloom, but we are still pretty far out. Colder temperatures in the area right now will also slow down the bloom process.

"We'll keep an eye on the end of this week, I think we're supposed to have upper 60s on Thursday, and see if that accelerates us to any great degree," Litterst said.

Despite the changing temperatures, the National Park Service still expects peak bloom between March 22-25.

"Probably at this point, we're focusing earlier on that four-day window," Litterst said. 

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