Cherry Blossom Watch Update: January 25, 2015

It’s definitely winter. The Tidal Basin is partly frozen over. Snow is on the way. And the cherry blossoms are still tightly tucked away in their protective buds.

Photo of Cherry Blossom Watch Update - January 25, 2015 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.

Welcome to the year's first Cherry Blossom Watch update!

As we gear up for getting the bottom end of a big storm to hit the northeast, this is how the cherry blossoms look as of January 25. And for reference, here's how they looked almost exactly a year ago.

Although it hasn't been especially cold in the past week or two, there's a layer of ice over about half of the Tidal Basin. The storm that's coming should add a bit of snow over the next couple of days. It's not clear yet how much, but it won't be anything like what the regions around New York and Boston are expecting. But still, temperatures so far aren't set to plummet to the extent they can.

Overall, the winter temperatures so far have been about normal. We haven't had the sustained cold temperatures of last year's winter-that-would-ever-end. Although it's still too early to make predictions on when the cherry blossoms will reach peak bloom, the more normal temperatures we've had so far this winter hints at a more average peak bloom date and earlier than the late bloom we had last year.

Over the next few days I'll add a post with a detailed comparison of the temperatures we've had so far this year compared to previous years. That will give some indication of how this year's peak bloom forecast should shape up as compared to previous years.

Below the photos you can find some interactive virtual tours if you'd like a 360° view.

Cherry Blossom Watch Update - January 25, 2015

Cherry Blossom Watch Update - January 25, 2015

Cherry Blossom Watch Update - January 25, 2015

Cherry Blossom Watch Update - January 25, 2015

Cherry Blossom Watch Update - January 25, 2015

Cherry Blossom Watch Update - January 25, 2015

Cherry Blossom Watch Update - January 25, 2015

Cherry Blossom Watch Update - January 25, 2015

Virtual Tours

Prefer a 360° view? Here are some panoramas taken the same day from the Tidal Basin's shore along the FDR Memorial.

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January 11

And here are a some shots from two weeks ago.

Cherry Blossoms - January 11, 2015

Cherry Blossoms - January 11, 2015

Cherry Blossoms - January 11, 2015

Cherry Blossoms - January 11, 2015

Cherry Blossoms - January 11, 2015

Cherry Blossoms - January 11, 2015

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