Cherry blossom is heralding the coming of spring up to two weeks earlier than usual this year.According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, cherry trees are already blooming at 14 out of 23 observation points across the country. Most of them blossomed unusually early -- three days sooner than normal on Jeju Island, seven days in Ulsan, eight days in Changwon, Daegu, Gwangju and Yeosu, nine days in Busan, 12 days in Jeonju, 13 days in Andong, Daejeon and Pohang, 14 days in Cheongju and 16 days on weather-beaten Ulleung Island.The flowers can also be spotted here and there in Seoul already, but cherry blossom is not official until at least three buds on certain trees in the center of the capital start to bloom.Busan witnessed the earliest cherry blossom in the 102 years since records began.
The reason was the warmest March on record thanks to a migratory high-pressure front that brought temperatures usually seen in mid-April to early May. This is probably a result of climate change.However, the return of colder temperatures could cause the remainder of cherry blossoms to be delayed.Meanwhile, frequent dust storms from China are expected this spring. According to the KMA, there were eight days of smog so far this year, already surpassing the total number in all of 2022.