After typhoons and irregular weather, some of Japan’s famed cherry trees are already blossoming — months ahead of schedule.
Local meteorologists are blaming the early blooms on salt damage caused by typhoons throughout the summer. Following the storms, warmer-than-usual temperatures also aided the trees’ early flower eruption, reports CNN.
Yoshino cherry trees typically develop their buds during the summer but a hormone, released by the trees’ leaves, inhibits their growth until the spring. Due to the typhoons’ strong winds and salt water, the leaves have fallen off the trees, cutting off the hormone supply.
While some cherry blossoms may bloom as early as January, most don’t start to appear until March. This year will likely be very different, though. The Japan National Tourism Organization consistently updates a list of predictions as to when the blooms will appear but it has not yet released data for 2019.