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Late Cherry Blossoms Disappoint Washington Tourists

  • Marcus Harton

A spring snowstorm has blanketed the Washington region, complicating life for some commuters and disappointing tourists who were expecting springtime temperatures and cherry blossoms. Some visitors Monday ventured outdoors despite the weather.

Snow mixed with rain greeted visitors to the Jefferson Memorial and the adjacent Tidal Basin. Photographer Judy Young was hoping to snap shots of the city's famous cherry blossoms, covered with snow.

"I came down here to find snow on these beautiful cherry blossoms, or even the buds. Did I find snow? No. It's raining this morning," she said.

School groups fisting on spring break were also disappointed. Some arrived unaware that cooler-than-expected weather delayed the blossoms on the cherry trees - given to the United States by Japan more than 100 years ago.

Marshall True, a student from California, hoped to take home a special souvenir for his Japanese language instructor.

"I go to a Japanese class, and she was hoping to see pictures of cherry blossoms, so I have to disappoint her," said True.

"It's lucky for us we brought these clothes because it's winter here, not spring," said Sonia Bastidas, a tourist from Switzerland. She and her traveling companion, Mark Shmid, hoped to see Washington's spring spectacular while in town.

"We were hoping to see it, but it's a bit early, I guess. So maybe during the end of the trip, we'll get to see some," he said.

The National Park Service updated its prediction of peak bloom time for the District of Columbia’s cherry trees because of the cold weather. It now says the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom in early April.