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
Want to Help Support DC's Cherry Trees?
If you'd like to help support the care and upkeep of the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin, the Trust for The National Mall has launched an Endow a Cherry Tree Campaign. Donations go to the official Cherry Tree Endowment, which will give the National Park Service additional resources to fund the care, maintenance, and possible replacement of the cherry trees. You can find more information here.
The Trust is dedicated to marshaling private support for maintaining and improving the history National Mall area. I'm not affiliated with the Trust--just an admirer of their efforts.
Cherry Blossom Visitor Guides
Planning on visiting DC to see the cherry blossoms? The uncertainty with predicting when the bloom will take place certainly makes things hard, but I've put together some information to help you make an educated guess to maximize your chances.
And if you're coming into town for the events of the cherry blossom festival or just for the flowers, I've also put together some ideas on where to stay and how to get to the cherry blossoms once you're here.
Washington DC Visitor Guides
If you're coming in from out of town, here are some useful travel guidebooks that can help you make the most of your visit. Because as stunning as the cherry blossoms are, there's an awful lot more to do and see in DC.
These are some of the most popular ones. Many of these are available as both traditional books and e-books that you can read on your phone or tablet.
- Elise Hartman Ford
- Publisher: FrommerMedia
- Fodor s Washington D C with Mount Vernon Alexandria Annapolis Full color Travel Guide
- Fodor's Travel Guides
- DK Travel
- Publisher: DK Eyewitness Travel
- Lonely Planet Washington DC
- Lonely Planet, Karla Zimmerman, Regis St Louis
And here are some interesting options for less traditional guidesbooks if you'd like an emphasis on exploring DC on foot or diving into some of the region's very rich history.