Several families meander about the Utah Capitol complex on a warm, breezy Sunday afternoon.

Some are taking photos with their graduation caps and gowns by the hundreds of Yoshino cherry trees that align the 0.7-mile pathway around the buildings, while some are simply sprawled out on the Capitol lawn, soaking in the sun for the first time in a while.

There would typically be more people here but the traffic is subdued a bit because the Utah Capitol's beloved cherry blossoms are only now starting to bloom. This year's display has been delayed by colder-than-normal temperatures impacting the region, said Alexis Koontz, visitor services manager for the Utah Capitol Preservation Board.

"We've had people who are interested in taking photographers, doing their picnics and taking walks around the Capitol and haven't been able to do it outside, and have chosen to come inside," she told Monday.

The Utah Capitol cherry blossoms typically reach peak bloom by the second week of April, which was the case last year. However, only a few had bloomed by the start of this week.

"With the longer period of cold temperatures, they don't really have a chance to start opening," Koontz adds. "It's the latest time that I believe anyone who has ever been here for a long period of time has ever seen."

The delay is a great example of how abnormally cold the start of the year has been in Salt Lake City. National Weather Service lead meteorologist Monica Traphagan explained earlier this month that the same stormy pattern that produced the state's record snowpack also made it difficult for temperatures to warm up. This is also why Salt Lake City had its snowiest winter in over two decades.

Despite a record 83-degree day last week, Salt Lake City's average temperature this April remained 2 degrees below normal at the halfway point, while the March average of 39.4 degrees last month landed 6.4 degrees below the 30-year normal, according to the National Weather Service. Feburary also fell well below normal, as storms pummeled the region.

In fact, the first quarter of the year was cold statewide. Utah's average temperature of 28.3 degrees is 2.8 degrees below the 20th-century average, the 24th coldest first quarter in 129 years of statewide records and the coldest through March since 1985, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. Utah has not completed a year with a temperature below the 20-century average since 1993.

Even though temperatures surpassed 70 degrees on Monday, another storm system is forecast to arrive Tuesday afternoon, keeping highs in the 50s through the rest of the work week, according to the current forecast. The forecast lists highs that are 10 to 15 degrees below normal for this point in the year.

Temperatures are expected to return back into the 60s and 70s by the end of the weekend and into next week.

Koontz believes that most of the cherry blossoms could begin to open up by then, too. Once that happens, she believes many Utahns and tourists will again flock to the Capitol to check out the beautiful springtime display that they've waited through a long winter to see.

"We can't necessarily predict it," she said, "but hopefully sometime next week we'll be at a peak volume of blossoms."