puffy white
Photo via National Mall NPS

From the National Park Service:

“Blossoms at “puffy white,” 1 stage from peak; bloom period has begun, 20% at full blossom. Warm weekend weather may put us over the top.”

Full release:

“The Yoshino cherry blossoms reached puffy white today, with 70% of the blossoms at that stage (or, more specifically, 70% of the blossoms that survived last week’s cold snap at that stage; roughly 50% of the Yoshino blossoms were killed by the cold temperatures).

The Yoshino trees are also at the start of the bloom period as of today, defined as when 20% of the blossoms are at full bloom. The bloom period starts several days before the peak bloom date and can last as long as 14 days, however, deep frost or high temperatures combined with wind or rain can shorten this period.

There probably won’t be much activity over the next 24 hours as temperatures will be at or below the 40 degree mark required for the development of the blossoms. But with the temperatures forecast for the 60s on Friday and 70s on Saturday, we expect to reach peak bloom this weekend. There is a lot of white around the Tidal Basin already (see attached ‘pagoda and blossoms’); peak bloom should still be a sight this year!”

Pagoda and blossoms

blossoms
Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

From the National Park Service:

“The National Park Service estimates that approximately half of the cherry blossoms have survived the recent cold snap, and will be emerging over the next week or so around the Tidal Basin, in East Potomac Park and on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

Although the bitter cold temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week killed virtually all of the blossoms that had reached “puffy white,” (the fifth of six stages in the bloom cycle), blossoms from earlier stages forced open showed little if any damage. The earliest stage affected by the cold were peduncle elongation (stage four), but only approximately 5% of those blossoms appear to show damage. As of last Friday, the day the cold weather set in, approximately 50% of the cherry trees were peduncle elongation or earlier in the bloom process. (more…)

blossoms freeze
Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

From the National Park Service:

“The National Park Service has completed an inspection of the Japanese flowering cherry trees around the Tidal Basin this morning in the wake of bitter overnight temperatures. Horticulturalists examining the trees found widespread damage in blossoms that had reached “puffy white,” the fifth of six stages in the bloom cycle. They have taken cuttings of branches containing blossoms at earlier stages and will force them open over the next 24-48 hours to determine what, if any, damage may have occurred in those blossoms.

Because the blossoms are so close to peak bloom and are exposed from the protection of the buds, they are particularly vulnerable to cold temperatures right now. Cherry blossoms start to sustain damage when temperatures hit 27 degrees; at 24 degrees, up to 90% of exposed blossoms can be affected. (more…)

dcps
Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

From WMATA:

“As of 5 a.m., Metrobus and Metrorail are operating on a regular weekday schedule.”

From the Mayor’s Office:

“On Wednesday, March 15 DC Public Schools (DCPS) will open with a two hour delay, and DC Government will open on time. In addition, regularly scheduled after care and after school activities will occur at all DCPS schools. For updates on delays and closures at DC Public Charter Schools, families can track the DC Public Charter School Board’s inclement weather page at http://www.dcpcsb.org/inclement-weather-updates.

On Wednesday, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will resume scheduled bulk trash pickup, but street sweeping will remain suspended. Property owners – residential and commercial – are reminded that they are required to remove snow from their sidewalks within the first 8 hours of daylight after a storm ends, otherwise they may be subject to enforcement actions. (more…)

snow delay
Photo by PoPville flickr user Paul Sirajuddin

From AlertDC:

“OPM decision for Tuesday, March 14: Federal Agencies in the Washington, DC area are OPEN under 3 Hours DELAYED ARRIVAL – With Option for Unscheduled Leave or Unscheduled Telework. Employees should plan to arrive for work no more than 3 hour(s) later than they would be expected to arrive.”

Update from AlertDC:

“The Mayor has determined we will have a two (2) hour delay for government operations and DC Public Schools (DCPS).”

Update from WMATA:

“Metrobus service, which started the day on a “Severe” snow service plan, will transition to a “Moderate” snow service plan as of 7 a.m. To see which bus routes operate under the Moderate plan, use the following link.”

Update from the National Zoo:

“The @NationalZoo will be closed today due to the inclement weather.”

Please send your snow photos via email to [email protected], tweet me @PoPville, upload to the PoPville Flickr pool or tag us #PoPville on Instagram.

pepco
Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

“With significant heavy, wet snow and high winds forecasted to hit the region this evening, Pepco is ready.

Pepco has opened our storm center. More than 2,500 employees and contractors are now preparing to respond to customer needs, repair potential storm damage, and safely restore service as quickly as possible. We are also working to secure additional local contractors and will be receiving additional support from our sister utility, ComEd, in Chicago.

Pepco has been mobilizing field and support personnel to be ready to respond to any potential service interruptions that may be caused by the possibility of heavy, wet snow and high wind gusts that can bring tree limbs down onto power lines and electric delivery equipment.

“Safety is a priority at Pepco, and we want our customers to remain safe by preparing for this winter storm in the event there are power outages,” said Donna Cooper, Pepco regional president. “We also want to remind all customers, including those with smart meters, to report their outages to Pepco by calling 1-877- PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662) or reporting online through mobile devices.” (more…)

snow
Photo by Dan Jackson

Thanks to Dan for sending the shot above from the the Soviet Safeway in Dupont.

From the Mayor’s Office:

“With the National Weather Service forecasting between 2 and 13 inches of snow for Monday, March 13 going into Tuesday, March 14, the District Snow Team will go into full deployment on Monday evening, with more than 200 plows scheduled to be on their posts by 7:00 p.m. Precipitation is expected to start as rain Monday evening around 5:00 p.m. with temperatures hovering around 40 degrees, then transition to snow within two hours. Throughout Monday night and into Tuesday morning, temperatures are expected to drop into the low 30s as the snow continues.

“The DC Government is utilizing every resource to prepare for forecasted snowfall in the coming days,” said Mayor Bowser. “We urge residents to continue monitoring weather updates and to take necessary precautions in the event we experience significant snow accumulation Monday night into Tuesday morning.”

On Sunday, March 12, the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) began pretreating streets and highways with a mix of brine and beet juice that slows ice forming on roads, and the Department of General Services (DGS) pretreated sidewalks around DC Public Schools, Department of Parks and Recreation Centers, and Metropolitan Police Department and Fire and Emergency Medical Services properties. On Monday morning, DPW and DDOT will begin pretreating major roads and residential routes with rock salt and brine. As a precaution, residential and commercial property owners are advised to spread rock salt, de-icer, or non-clumping kitty litter on their sidewalks to prevent slips and falls.

Throughout the year, Serve DC, the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism, has compiled a list of senior citizens and residents with access and functional needs who will need assistance with snow removal after a snow event. Residents interested in assisting with snow removal can join the DC Resident Snow Team at ServeDC.VolunteerHub.com. In the event of snow accumulation, volunteers will likely be deployed on Tuesday afternoon when the snow event ends and conditions are safe for snow removal.

DPW has suspended street sweeping for Tuesday, and all scheduled bulk trash pickup appointments for Tuesday are cancelled and will be rescheduled.

In addition, the Department of Human Services (DHS), in collaboration with the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), will continue the activation of the city’s Cold Emergency Plan. Under a “Cold Emergency Alert” additional services and supports are provided to protect residents from life-threatening illness and injury associated with severe cold weather.

The DC Government activates the Cold Emergency Plan when the temperature and wind chill drop to 15° F or when the temperature, with wind chill, is 20° F and there is an accompanying meteorological event such as snow. DHS, HSEMA, and other agencies have determined that the weather, as forecasted, presents a danger, especially to residents who are experiencing homelessness.

Key services provided during Cold Emergency Alerts include: (more…)

freezing
Photo by PoPville flickr user Liz

From AlertDC:

“DHS reports the Hypothermia Alert is activated. The current temperature is 39 degrees and the wind chill is 30 degrees. The Tonight’s forecast calls for a low of 23 degrees. Isolated snow showers before 10 PM. Blustery, with a northwest wind 14 to 21 mph, with gust as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

To request shelter transport for DC residents who are homeless and on the street now, contact the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311.