NPS Says Cherry Blossoms Reached Peak Bloom Today

The NPS said this afternoon that peak bloom was reached today, March 25.

Photo of Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - March 25, 2016 taken by David Coleman.
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It's still too early to guess with much confidence when the 2023 bloom will be. But we've seen a much-warmer-than-normal January, and long-range forecasts suggest above-average temperatures continuing as we get deeper into February (after a short very cold spurt at the beginning of the month).

On average, Washington DC's cherry blossoms bloom around late-March into early April, but the precise timing varies year to year depending on the local temperatures in the leadup to the bloom. You can find general information on the 2023 bloom to help plan your visit here.

The NPS said this afternoon that we reached peak bloom today, March 25. Peak bloom marks when at least 70 percent of the trees are blooming. (I have a more detailed explanation of what peak bloom means here.)

Hats off to the Washington Post‘s Capital Weather Gang. They nailed it with their first and only prediction that it would fall between March 24 and 28.

The NPS was a bit more unsteady with their forecasts this year, initially saying March 31 to April 3, then revising it to March 18 to 23, and then revising it again to a period beginning March 23 to 24.

You can find more background on the 2016 peak bloom forecasts here.

And I have a photo timeline that shows what to expect in the days following peak bloom.

11 thoughts on “NPS Says Cherry Blossoms Reached Peak Bloom Today”

    • No. I have no idea beyond sometime between mid-March and mid-April. We won’t start getting a real sense of it until the first couple of months of 2017.

  1. Hi.
    We planned our trip based on the past 2 years of April 10th peak ad will be coming that week.
    Given early peak will it all be over by then?

    • Yes, the main ones will be long gone by then. Your timing might be good for the Kwanzan cherry blossoms. There aren’t nearly as many of them, but they have very pretty pink flowers. Here’s information on how to find them.

  2. We are arriving from the UK on the evening of April 5th so I tend to get amongst the blossoms on April 6th. Do you think there will be anything to see?

  3. Hi David we will fly in DC on April 1st and spend the weekend visiting DC. Will we be able to walk and see both beginning of Kwanzan and end of Yoshino with walking distance? We are still debating if we should cancel our trip. Tips? Thanks

    • There are Kwanzan cherries within very easy walking distance of the Tidal Basin, yes–as in, about 100 feet. Here’s a map on where to find some of the larger groups of them. The complication is saying for sure that there will still be some Yoshinos left to see or that the Kwanzans will have started blooming by then. It’s impossible to give a definite answer to either. In ideal conditions, the Yoshinos can last a week or more. In practice, it’s often less than that, and sometimes significantly less. I’ve put together some examples from recent years that give a sense of what you might expect to see–it also illustrates that it varies year to year.


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