DC Cherry Blossoms in 2021
No peak bloom forecasts for 2021 have been issued yet.
It seems increasingly likely that DC will still be under COVID-19 restrictions in spring 2021 while the cherry blossoms are blooming. The Washington DC area is currently assessed at a very high risk level. So it's shaping up to be a good year to follow along from afar from the safety and comfort of your home.
It’s now a week after the cherry blossoms’ peak bloom.
First, the good news: the trees are holding up remarkably well and there are still flowers to see for longer than there has been in recent years. They’re well past their prime now, and a lot of petals have fallen, but there are also still plenty of flowers out. The slow, drawn-out start we had to the bloom is paying dividends now. The early bloomers are done already, but many of the trees still have flowers on them. And there are also some trees of different varieties of cherry that are only just starting.
Now, the not-so-good news: here comes the rain and wind. We’re in for a few days of unsettled weather, with showers, wind, much warmer than average temperatures, and, potentially, storms. None of those is helpful in keeping the cherry blossom petals on the trees in their fragile state. On the plus side, it doesn’t look like much of it’s going to be extreme. The rain looks more like showers than really setting in, although storms might be a different matter, if they appear.
AFTERNOON UPDATE: The National Weather Service has now issued a High Wind Watch for the area for Saturday night through Sunday morning, with gusts possibly reaching 60mph and/or sustained wind of at least 40mph.
See below for updates on the Kwanzan cherry blossoms and the Floral Library.
Prospects for the Weekend
If you’re coming in this weekend you will be able to catch at least some flowers, although it might not be many. They’re definitely well past their prime now, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still pretty. And some trees have more flowers than others. The photos below were taken this morning and will give you some sense of what to expect, but they were also taken before the rainy and breezy conditions arrived.
I’ve had reports from readers that the wind and rain later on Friday knocked a lot of the petals off and there’s not much left. I haven’t yet had a chance to see for myself but will post new photos when I can. Please see the April 2 update.
Cherry Blossom 10-Miler Road Closures
If you’re heading anywhere near the Tidal Basin on Sunday morning you’ll have to contend with road closures for the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler.
The Tidal Basin remains open to pedestrian traffic and you can still access it even during the race. But you might have to cross roads through a swarm of oncoming runners, so please exercise caution.
You won’t be able to park along Ohio Drive or around East Potomac Park during the morning.
You can find the road closure maps here. Most of the road closures are in effect from 5am to 10:30am.
Photos from this Morning
Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms
They’re not blooming yet, but they’re not far away now. Here are some shots of how they were looking this morning.
Nearly all of the tulips at the Floral Library are out and in their prime. There are only a handful of sections where they’re not blooming yet, but on the whole it’s looking beautiful. All the more so because it’s covered in a light layer of cherry blossom “snow” at the moment.
At this time of year, there are beautiful flowers to be had all over the place. Maybe in your backyard. Maybe in the local park.
These are ere are some of my favorite books that I've reviewed on taking photos of flowers:
- Timber Press OR
- Detrick, Alan L. (Author)