Peak of sensitive cherry blossoms in Toronto in peril due to frost

As Toronto eagerly anticipates the annual cherry blossom peak, a sudden threat looms overhead. A chance of frost poses a risk to these delicate blooms, potentially jeopardizing their vibrant displays

With excitement growing in Toronto over the sight of the cherry blossoms reaching their full peak soon, concerns regarding the plants' conditions before they crest are also rising due to possible frost.

With overnight lows expected to dip below the freezing mark and little to no wind, a potential frost could put the cherry blossoms in jeopardy.

RELATED: Toronto’s cherry blossoms will peak next week. How long will they be around?

The High Park cherry blossoms are now stuck in their most sensitive stage regarding weather threat, specifically frost.

Cherry blossom peak bloom_April 20

According to a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, from the High Park Nature Centre, the cherry blossoms reached Stage 5 as of April 19.

A minority of sakura flowers have opened up in the park, at nearly 20 per cent growth, but warmer weather is needed to enter full bloom. Other parts of the city, including near the University of Toronto, have experienced trees in full bloom as early as April 15 this year.

The current temperature forecast poses a hazard to the quality of the bloom this year, with a frost risk for High Park on Sunday and Monday morning.

Content continues below
Temp Overnight Low GTA_April 20_Baron

Most years at High Park result in a stunning display of cherry blossoms, but some budding years can be duds.

The year 2016 had brutally cold temperatures with 14 consecutive frosts during the first half of April, with a couple of other chilly events on April 27 and 28, only resulting in a 25 per cent peak bloom in early May.

Cherry blossom peak bloom Toronto_April 20

Two years later, the the bloom was even worse. With three consecutive frosts so late into April after a 10-day mild stretch, the bloom failed to materialize as a killing frost materialized during the flower's most sensitive stage:

April 2008 Toronto Temps

The temperature that causes damage? It’s been documented that temperatures colder than -2 C can begin to damage the blossoms.

Here’s hoping the flowers are extra resilient this year, as the park deals with back-to-back consecutive frosts and another event forecast on Wednesday that will likely impact this year's bloom.

Check them out for yourself this weekend at High Park.

WATCH: Is that a cherry blossom? How to avoid this common spring mixup

Thumbnail courtesy of Getty Images/intuilapse-685622590-170667a.

With files from Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, and Nathan Howes, a digital reporter at The Weather Network.