What’s the Deal with the Cherry Blossoms?

Cherry+Blossom+Path_forWebArguably one of the best things about going to Georgetown is being able to experience Washington in the spring. The birds are chirping, Healy beach lawn is bubbling with excitement and D.C.’s cherry blossoms are beautifully bursting into in full bloom. At least you think they will be.

With the strange wintry weather we’ve been experiencing lately, you might be wondering how the cherry blossoms are going to be affected … and if they’re even going to bloom properly at all. Here at 4E, we’re all licensed cherry-bloom-ologists, and we’ve got the scoop on everything you need to know about how the recent weather will affect the cherry blossoms. Here are 3 questions you wanted to know about the D.C. cherry blossoms but were too afraid lazy to ask:

1. What’s the deal with the cherry blossoms? Are they going to bloom in this weird weather?

Yes. They might just be a little bit late. As we’ve already explained here on 4E, cherry blossom bloom dates are determined by temperatures. Basically, the colder the spring temperatures, the later the cherry blossom bloom dates. Check out this nifty graph to see the correlation:

bloom-chart

Every Hoya can attest to the wacky cold weather we’ve experienced this spring, and for that reason, this year’s bloom is projected to be one of the latest in recent history. The Capital Weather Gang at the Washington Post even revised their peak bloom date projections from April 9 to April 13.

2. Will the snow affect the blooms?

No. Like we explained above, cherry blossom blooms are affected by temperature, not precipitation. The blooms would only be affected if there was so much snow that tree limbs would be damaged, and – thankfully – we haven’t had that much.

3. Is there anything positive about this weather?

Yes! Believe it or not, cold weather actually makes cherry blossom blooms last longer. Warm weather can cause the cherry buds to burst quickly and limit bloom times to around 4-5 days. Cold weather, on the other hand, can double peak bloom times, making for beautiful spring sights that last around 2 weeks.

In other words, things are about to get beautiful – and stay beautiful – around here really soon. Stick it out for a few more days, Hoyas. Spring awaits!

Photos: The Washington Post, strawberrymilkevents.com

Springtime Weather Woes: The REAL Madness of March

Springtime weather

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. In case, you’ve no place to go… HOLD ON! It’s springtime, right?!

If you think the weather has been a bit weird lately, you aren’t alone. According to the Capital Weather Gang at The Washington Post, March 2013 was (on average) 13 degrees cooler than March 2012. In fact, it was the 59th coldest March in DC on record since 1871 and the second coldest March since 2000.

Throughout the month, scientists recorded an average temperature anomaly of three degrees Fahrenheit on the cold side. The month was so cold that the highest temperature of the month was only 63 degrees– the first time March did not have a high temperature of 70 degrees or higher since 2001.

Although last March was also one of the driest March months on record, when it did precipitate, the cold temperatures were especially conducive to snow. Dulles Airport set two separate snow records (3.3 and 3.2 inches on March 6 and 25, respectively) and Reagan Airport bolstered the highest snowfall measurements since 1990.

According to WaPo meteorologists, the weird March weather was caused by “a powerful atmospheric ‘blocking’ pattern that formed over northern latitudes over the course of the month. As a result, cold air was released into typically warmer areas, including North America and Europe.

However, the blocking pattern is no reason to get your knickers in a bunch. As of right now, the blocking pattern is currently breaking, and as a result, the National Weather Service has predicted a warmer-than usual April. And you know what that means, Hoyas.

In conclusion: IT’S BEEN COLD AND WE’RE SICK OF IT. THE SUN IS ON ITS WAY. HAPPY APRIL!