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Washington, DC Cherry Blossoms Hit Peak Bloom Way Early

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Washington, DC Cherry Blossoms Hit Peak Bloom Way Early


Washington, DC’s famed cherry blossoms hit peak bloom Sunday—about two weeks earlier than is typical, and tied with the year 2000 as the second-earliest date on record. Experts say it’s yet another consequence of climate change, with warmer weather speeding along the bud development cycle, the Washington Post reports. Most of the cherry tree buds made it through the entire cycle in 15 days this year; peak bloom is defined as the time when 70% of the trees are flowering. Cherry trees, or sakura, are even more iconic in Japan than DC (the oldest ones in the US capital were gifts from Japan, planted in Washington in 1912), and they’re blooming earlier than usual in that country, too, Time reports.

In both countries, it’s an ongoing trend, with peak bloom shifting gradually earlier over time. “Spring is most definitely starting earlier than when you were a kid,” says one expert who works at an organization tracking seasonal changes. Another possible change in the future: If winter temperatures rise to a certain point, the trees won’t experience the necessary degree of chill they need in order to ensure they “awaken” with the warmth of spring. (More than 150 of the trees are being removed in DC as part of an effort to fix sea walls, and people are saying goodbye to one tree in particular nicknamed “Stumpy.”)

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Washington, D.C

Here are the latest numbers for BTR’s nonstop flight to DC

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Here are the latest numbers for BTR’s nonstop flight to DC


(Collin Richie)

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport’s nonstop service to Washington’s Reagan International Airport is operating at an average 65% capacity as it nears its one-year anniversary, according to BTR Director of Aviation Mike Edwards.

The service, which was launched by American Airlines in June, was operating at roughly 45% capacity in August, as reported in Daily Report, well below the 68% recorded in July and the 74% during the first month.

Edwards says the flights have recently been closer to 75% full. 

“We’re pleased with the increase,” Edwards says. “We’re going to continue aggressively marketing the flight. We need the community’s support to make sure we can maintain that service. American Airlines has made a large investment in our community by launching this service and we want to make sure it succeeds long term.”

Edwards says the airport’s goal is for the flight’s load factor to reach 80% or higher to maintain the flight.

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“Looking at other regional markets with service to D.C., the average load factor is about 84%,” Edwards says. “We’re confident that once we get to 80%, the service will be viable in the long term.”

Overall, the airport saw more than 67,000 passengers in March, a 7% increase compared to March 2023. American Airlines saw nearly 10,000 more passengers from January through March than in the same quarter of 2023. The overall passenger volume through the first three months of this year increased by 8.4%.





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Washington, D.C

Smithsonian Institute celebrates Earth Day in the community

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Smithsonian Institute celebrates Earth Day in the community


WASHINGTON (Gray DC) – The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. went out into the community Saturday to celebrate the upcoming Earth Day holiday.

The Anacostia Community Museum and Smithsonian Institute’s second annual earth day celebration worked to engage the surrounding community with the earth.

Museum acting director Shanita Brackett said Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to highlight how communities can help the earth.

“It’s an opportunity for people to reflect back and in this particular neighborhood really thinking about how historic this place is to the Washington DC environment,” Brackett said. “Here on site today we’re handing out seeds, [there’s a stand for] Freshfarm where you can pick up produce, learning about recipes that you can actually create from what you might grow in your own backyard or from a farm nearby.”

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Anacostia is a community that faces a disproportionately high level of food insecurity. Freshfarm stand manager Price Holman said Freshfarm is one organization working to fix that.

“East of the [Potomac] River we have not as many grocery stores in some of these wards around here, so its really important that fresh food gets here and that our community has options,” Holman said.

Freshfarm values sustainability, making Earth Day a good opportunity for the organization to focus on the future.

“It really just takes us back to what are we going to need in the future, how are we going to continue to make sure what we’re putting in our bodies is nutritious, what we’re breathing in is still safe,” Holman said.

One highlight of the Earth Day celebration was a 3-D chalk mural of flowers and ducks from the artist group Chalk Riot.

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The mural’s designer said she wanted to highlight the nature of the surrounding Anacostia area.

“Earth Day is important because the residents love the nature and the community, and they always interact with it, and it brings them joy and peace,” Ann Gill said. “It just brings a recognition to people to take care of the earth that they live in.”

Earth Day started in 1970 and is celebrated every year on April 22.



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Skies over D.C. went back to gray on Sunday, as mercury sank

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Skies over D.C. went back to gray on Sunday, as mercury sank


Perhaps fickle, certainly changeable, the weather in the Washington area on Sunday returned to gray skies and cool temperatures in stark contrast to the sunlit glories of the day before.

It appeared that high afternoon temperatures did not reach the 60 degree mark on Sunday at any of the area’s three official measuring sites.

In fact, at Dulles International Airport, in Virginia, Sunday’s high was only 54, which was 20 degrees less than the 74 there on Saturday. It was also 15 degrees below the average high at Dulles for April 21.

Sunday’s uniformly cool readings may have signaled that nature has not yet signed or even prepared the terms of summer’s lease. The low temperatures may have warned against assuming that bright warm days must hereafter be our lot.

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Perhaps Sunday was difficult to assess on its own, given the inevitable comparisons with Saturday. On that day it reached 75 in the District, under blue skies and in warm winds.

So in a sense, Sunday may have been a day of atmospheric consciousness raising. It demonstrated perhaps the dangers of unsuspecting reliance at this time of year on the likelihood of each day resembling the one before.

It showed the differences possible between consecutive April days. It asserted that even with only nine days until May, and the sun, visible or not, getting steadily stronger, nothing guaranteed that one day must inherit the thermal legacy of another.

On the other hand, by no means could Sunday be described as absolute in its gloominess. Even overcasts show variations. At times in the District in the morning, the blanket of cloud seemed to grow almost thin enough to transmit sunlight, and surroundings began to brighten.

The powers of the sun on Sunday became even more pronounced and noticeable toward sundown.

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As the sun descended at day’s end in Washington, the sheet of cloud seemed to come unfastened from the western horizon. It left a gap. Through that space in the sky streamed fiery orange sunlight, largely hidden throughout the day, but now unleashed.

Its reflection burned in windows, with a brilliance that sent a message of power and radiance.

It also may have had a wistful quality, suggesting how bright, in other circumstances, Washington’s Sunday might have been.



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