Current Peak Bloom Predictions for the 2014
UPDATE: The National Park Service determined that the blossoms reached peak bloom this year on April 10.
Please note that it's not unusual for these forecasts to be revised as we get closer to the date. It's not until about 10 days out that the experts feel truly confident in their predictions.
National Park Service
Between April 8 and 12 [forecast issued March 4]
This forecast relies heavily on the extensive experience of the NPS arborists who tend to the trees, as well as weather data.
Washington Post Capital Weather Gang
April 13 ("between April 11 and April 15, centered on April 13") [revised forecast issued on March 27]
This forecast relies heavily on weather data.
University of Washington (Seattle)
This forecast is based on a data model and calculated from afar.
Unsurprisingly, the prolonged, colder-than-average temperatures through the winter are pushing the bloom later than average this year.
The date of the peak is heavily dependent on local weather conditions in the months leading up to it. Warmer, sunnier conditions through the winter and early spring tend to bring an earlier bloom. Sustained cold, wintry weather delays it.
Washington DC had a cold and wintry winter in 2013-14. January was the coldest in decades. February was also colder than average. And with several snowstorms and very cold temperatures, March set new records for cold and snow. It has all pushed back the blooming of all the flowers in the DC area, not just the cherry blossoms.
You can find a lot more information in these pages:
- When is the Best Time to Visit DC to See the Cherry Blossoms?
- What Peak Bloom Means and Why It (sort of) Matters
Where to Stay for the Cherry Blossoms?
If you're visiting from out of town and looking for ideas on where to stay, I've put together some suggestions here.