DC Cherry Blossoms 2013

Each spring, Washington's famous cherry blossoms burst into white and pink bloom. But the date shifts each year depending on natural environmental factors. Here's the latest information on the 2013 blooming of the cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossom season for Washington DC’s famous cherry blossoms has come and gone for 2013. The famous cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin burst into flower in early- to mid-April in an annual tradition in Washington and one that marks the unofficial start of spring.

But it’s a fleeting spectacle, with the entire bloom period lasting less than a fortnight–and the peak bloom lasting much less than that.

So timing is everything. And the dates of the bloom change from year to year. (For more on what “peak bloom” means and when it occurs, take a look at the Ins and Outs of Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom page.)

In 2012, the bloom came very early. In 2013, it was later than average due to unseasonably cold local weather during March and early April.

2013 Peak Bloom Forecasts

Actual Peak Bloom Date: April 9

Last Official National Park Service Prediction: April 6-8

The first official NPS forecast, issued on March 4, was that the peak bloom day should fall between March 26 and March 30. But colder than usual temperatures set in and stuck with us through most of the rest of March and into early April, slowing things down. On March 18, they revised their official forecast for the peak bloom day this year to fall within the range of April 3-6, which would have put it squarely around the average of April 3.[foot]The National Park Service uses the date April 4 as the overall average peak bloom date. You can read why I use April 3 on my Ins and Outs of Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom page.[/foot] On March 25, after recent snow and wintry weather in the DC area, they reaffirmed their April 3-6 forecast. On April 2, after the Capital Weather Gang pushed back their own prediction, the NPS reaffirmed their April 3-6 range. On April 4, pointing to cooler daytime and night-time temperatures, the NPS revised its forecast to April 6-8. They’re always careful to point out that they don’t truly have confidence in their prediction until about ten days out because there are so many weather variables that can come into play.

Last Washington Post Capital Weather Gang Prediction: April 6-10

On March 15, the Washington Post‘s Capital Weather Gang made their own prediction that peak bloom would come between April 3 and 7, or around April 5.[foot]Originally, I wrote this just as April 5, but “April 3-7 (centered on April 5)” is the way they put it. .[/foot] Their prediction was based on a forecast of colder than usual temperatures through the last couple of weeks of March. On April 2, they revised their estimate for the peak bloom window to April 6-10.

Are DC’s Cherry Blossoms Blooming Yet?

The famous Yoshino Cherry Blossoms are done for the year. The National Park Service determined that peak bloom was reached on April 9. There are other varieties of cherry trees and fruit trees in bloom in the vicinity now. See below for details and photos.

Cherry Blossom Watch 2013 Updates

You can see the progress of the trees going back here.

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.

Last updated June 29, 2016 1:10 pm

View Comments

  • I was at the tidal basin this morning at sunrise with my not-yet-four-year-old daughter. I had her there last weekend too but there were very few blossoms. Funny how the blossoms refuse to adhere to my visitation schedule! ;-) I have been to the blossoms with her each year since she was in utero. Past prime or not, I have a tradition to uphold!

    The blossoms are well past their peak but I'm still glad I went. Too bad about the storm a few days ago. There are still some nice blossoms right near the FDR memorial. If you can get there in an hour or less then I would say "go for it" but go with modest expectations. If possible, be there at 6:30am to catch the sunrise above the Jefferson Memorial. Standing by the banks of the basin just north of the tidal inlet bridge will give you a great vantage point.

    Hope this is helpful to a few folks!

  • Hi David! I just wanna THANK YOU for your wonderful job in keeping us updated. I went to DC last weekend and of course it was too early. At that time, I had just found you website. Then I've been looking for your photos and updates every morning and evening, and finally decided to travel to DC again to spend 10 hrs there. It was a 9-hr trip on the road each bound--18 back and forth, but it was worth it!!!!. REALLY APPRECIATE your awesome work here :)))
    Chayapa

  • HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need photos to know whether to see blooms tomorrow. Can't drive there not knowing if blooms r there or not.

  • Hello David! Because of your site, we are going to DC tomorrow! Thanks to you, we will be going when the bloom is at its peak or my whole family would have been disappointed if we pushed thru 2 weeks ago. Indeed this is a very helpful site! Looks like you helped a lot of people here!

    • I hope there are still some flowers left, but unfortunately I've been unable to get down there to take a look. I'm hoping someone who was there today can provide an eyewitness update.

  • This year, more than recent years, had been a hard year to predict the cherry blossoms peak bloom. The park service, the newspapers and news channels did not get it right this year. I am so grateful for your website. You really made the difference. I have been following your site for a couple years now. You are invaluable. Friends and family have not been disappointed. We have successfully planned our visits each year because of you. Thank you so much. Looking forward to next year.

    • Sorry. I've been unable to get down there due to other work commitments, and although we've had lots of generous contributors on previous days we don't have any today.

  • David,
    We were a couple days early when we went there last weekend,not alot of flowers yet. We are planning to go back this Sunday but I don't know how much flowers left after the storm. I checked on the earthcam,the trees look bare. Will there still be flowers left by Sunday you think? This makes me sad....

    • I suspect a lot of them will be gone, but I'm hoping someone who was there today can provide an eyewitness update.

  • David,

    My daughter and I made it to DC yesterday (Thursday) and had a wonderful time. The blossoms were beautiful and it was a nice day albeit a little warm. I took a lot of pictures but none of mine can come close to comparing with your beautiful shots. I would like to download a few of your full resolution images to add to a book I'll make from our trip. What size do you recommend for a small book, maybe 5x7s. Also, I didn't see the image at the top of this page in your full resolution images. Is this one you would share? I have seen it so many times as I've checked your website that it seems the perfect picture to me now of what the blossoms are.

    Thanks again for all your updates. Our trip to see the blossoms was a success thanks to you!

    Amy

    • Oh, and I would also love to add Colleen Ho's image of the petals on the water! I love it and am sad I didn't think to take one like that when I was there. Would she be willing to share the image? It would just be for my personal use. Thanks.

  • Hi David,

    Thanks for the awesome updates! I am planning a trip to reach DC on sunday too, was trying to find out if it is an awkward time - the cherries might have mostly been washed away, the tulips and other brand of cherries have not blossomed yet. Is it advisable to go down this weekend or wait till the next or next next?

    Thank you!

  • David
    If I am going to DC this Saturday. Where will have the most flowers to see? I hope the rain didnt wash away the flowers.
    :(

    • I haven't been able to get down there to take a look, but I hope someone who was there today can give us an update.

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