Because of all the calls that I did to Washington as director of federal sales for Apple, I managed to see more than my share of the cherry blossoms. I can remember at least one family outing where we crawled through traffic trying to see the blooms.
This year the blooms seem to be peaking early around the end of March. That means that this first weekend of April might well be the peak for Cherry Blossom crowds except that a number of the forecasters including the Weather Channel are talking about the potential of a major late season snowstorm. The storm would develop Thursday night and be a Friday present for the DC area from those of us living on the North Carolina coast where all nasty Washington area snowstorms originate.
Of course with the general tendency of weather forecasters to be alarmist, the chances of this actually happening are probably rather small.
However, this has been a year of weird cold weather and abrupt changes. Part of the reason the cherry blossoms are blooming early is that the Washington area got some of the great weather that seemed to cover much of the east coast through the end of the third week in March.
Our weather on the Southern Outer Banks was stellar. I even got to go fishing in my skiff and kayaking late the next afternoon. We had temperatures in the eighties. Then the bottom fell out, and I ended up covering my tomato plants to protect them from a frost that extended down to the water.
The Washington area doesn't do well in snow, and snow when lots of people are coming to town might be lots of fun. However, everyone seems to muddle through these late season storms. Fortunately they disappear quickly. You just end up doing what you have to do like figuring out how to clean your windshield without the right tool. If come from the north, be prepared or you might end up buying some snow stuff which is almost as silly as me, a former hard rock farmer, buying some rocks in our coastal county where regular rocks aren't native but oyster rocks are pretty common.
Blooming cherry trees actually looking really pretty in the snow. Just do me a favor, take your great pictures with a real camera instead of smartphone camera. Of course snow in the city only stays pretty for a few hours, and wet late season snow might be pretty for a few minutes before in turns to nasty slush.
If I were planning a trip to view the cherry blossoms this coming weekend, I just might pay attention to the weather forecasts later in the week. I am not sure I would want to get caught in a slow moving, cherry blossom induced, snow covered traffic jam.
I think that I will just stay at home and dream of summer. Even without the snow, the traffic will be more than I would want to endure. If you do go, try to find a relative native to the area to be your guide. It is the only way to really enjoy the festival.
A special thanks goes out to my Northern Virginia based daughter for the snow tinged flower picture from her 2011 garden.