UPDATE 3/12/2012: Thanks to our ongoing warm temperatures, the Capital Weather Gang predicts the cherry blossoms could peak March 18, one day short of the earliest on record.
The cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC are expected to peak between March 24 and 31, the National Park Service announced today. That's 5 to 10 days earlier than normal and right in line with our global warming-fueled trend - a Smithsonian study found the blossoms come out about 4.5 days earlier than they used to, part of a shift that all plants are feeling.
Of course, reporters can't say any of that! The peak's just early somehow, and the warm weather must be described as unusual or unseasonable and reporters must never mention that the changes are exactly in line with broader global warming trends.
Just look at coverage of our warm winter. DC's fresh off its 3rd-warmest winter on record and 2 of the top 4 have come within the last 10 years, exactly the type of changes climate scientists say we can expect in a warming world. But on local weather blogs, neither the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang nor WJLA's StormWatch 7 would even say the word climate.
People sometimes ask me if I'm frustrated that a minority of Americans still don't accept climate science. Just the opposite - I'm amazed the poll numbers are so strong! Even though the media won't connect the dots, Americans are doing it on their own, telling pollsters that changes in their own backyards are convincing them that our climate is warming.