Cherry blossoms on the southern resort island of Jeju have just bloomed this year, about a week faster than in the previous years, the local weather agency said Thursday.
Cherry blossom season begins in South Korea
The Jeju Provincial Meteorological Administration said hotter than normal temperatures on the island this month appear to have advanced the blooming of cherry blossoms by up to eight days.
Jeju’s average temperature in March is 11.5 C, two degrees higher than last year and three degrees higher than normal, the agency noted, though the month’s sunlight hours, tallied at 79.3 hours, were two hours shorter than in the previous years.
It said cherry blossoms on Jeju will likely be in full bloom around the fourth weekend of March, considering that it takes about a week for new cherry blossoms to reach peak blooms.
The flowering of cherry blossoms on Jeju is based on a standard tree located at the Jeju meteorological administration’s premises in the city of Jeju. The agency declares the year’s first blooming when three or more cherry flowers are witnessed from the standard tree.
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Also in Changwon, southeastern South Korea, the regional meteorological agency on Thursday declared the start of this year’s cherry blossom season in its Jinhae district, the venue of the nation’s largest cherry blossom festival called the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival.
The agency said this year’s blooming of cherry blossoms in Jinhae was nearly 15 days faster compared with a decade ago and forecasted that they are expected to be in full bloom within three to five days.
In 2011 and the following year, the flowering of cherry blossoms in Jinhae began on April 1 and 3, respectively, it said, noting the blooming was advanced to mid-March beginning in 2013.
Despite the blooming of cherry blossoms and other seasonal flowers, almost all spring blossom festivals across the country, including those in Jinhae and Jeju, have been called off for the second consecutive year amid little signs of a letup in coronavirus outbreaks.
The municipalities of Jeju and Changwon have already announced the cancellation of their annual cherry blossom festivals due to fears of COVID-19 transmissions. (Yonhap)