Cherry blossoms will bloom earlier this year

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Cherry blossoms will bloom earlier this year

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Cherry trees begin to bear flower buds on Friday while it is raining in Busan. According a private weather forecast service, cherry blossoms will begin to bloom in Busan on March 24 and in Seoul on April 7. [SONG BONG-GEUN]

Cherry blossoms will start blooming as early as Sunday in Seogwipo, Jeju Island.

As warm weather moves north, the blossoms will start to bloom in Busan on Thursday, Daegu on March 27 and Gwangju on March 29.

Kweather, a private weather forecast service, announced Friday cherry blossom blooming predictions, which used to be announced by the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), a governmental organization under the Ministry of Environment.

From this year, private weather services will provide seasonal climate predictions.

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Cherry blossoms in Seoul are expected to begin blooming from April 7, according to Kweather.

“It takes about a week for cherry blossoms to reach peak blooming season from their first blooms,” said Ban Ki-sung, head of the weather forecast center at Kweather. “The cherry blossoms of the popular Yunjung-ro path in Yeouido, western Seoul, are likely to reach their peak blooming period around April 14.”

In the northern regions of Gyeonggi and Gangwon and in the mountainous areas, the trees will start to bloom after April 10.

Another private weather forecaster, WeatherI, predicts the Seogwipo cherry blossoms will start to bloom on Wednesday, and in Seoul on April 6.

According to the predictions of the two private weather forecasters, cherry blossoms in Seoul are set to bloom three to five days earlier than the annual average.

The blooming season for cherry blossoms are affected by temperature, rainfall and sunshine hours, especially those of February.

The average temperature in February this year was 1.7 degree Celsius (35 degrees Fahrenheit), 0.6 degrees higher than February’s yearly average temperature.

The national rainfall of 43.8 millimeters (1.7 inches) for February was higher than the yearly average of 35.5 millimeters.

The higher temperature and rainfall explain the earlier blooming dates.

The KMA still calls the official date of the first flowering sighting.

BY KANG KI-HEON [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

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