It's still too early to guess with any confidence when DC's cherry blossoms will bloom in 2020, and no peak bloom forecasts have been issued yet. Stay tuned for the first peak bloom forecasts to be announced around the beginning of March.
The winter so far has been much warmer than normal. January and February have both tracked well above average. If that continues--and that's always a big "if"--it points to an earlier-than-average bloom, more late-March than early-April. But there's still plenty of time for cold weather to arrive and settle in, so it's still too early to predict with confidence.
The cherry blossoms are still going strong and looking lovely. Some light showers overnight didn’t have much effect, and the petals are coming off only very slowly for now.
It was a very nice sunrise this morning. A little misty, but otherwise clear. And cold, with temperatures in the upper 30s.
We’re still seeing temperatures well below normal, which is helping keep the flowers out. Later in the week, though, it’s going to warm up quite a lot–perhaps even cracking 80s–which will help hurry things along again. Any wind or rain will exacerbate that, and there’s a possibility of both from Thursday through at least the weekend.
Want to Share Your Best Photos?
Each year I post a selection of photos submitted by Cherry Blossom Watch Readers. It’s not a competition–just sharing the beautiful photos people have captured. You can see the first installment of the 2018 photos here. There’s more coming over the next few days.
The submissions for this year’s edition are now open, but the response has been phenomenal, so I’ll be closing it tomorrow morning. If you’d like to share some of your best shots of this year’s cherry blossoms, you can find more information as the submission form further down this page.
Submissions are now closed. Thanks to all who sent in photos!
Weekend of April 14-15. They peaked this past Thursday (April 5), so we’re now coming up to a week after peak bloom. In ideal conditions they can last a week or more beyond peak–maybe even as much as two weeks–but the weather has been all over the place lately. But the past few days have been cool and calm, which is exactly what we want for the flowers to hang around. Come Thursday, though, temperatures will climb through the weekend and bring with them chances of gusty winds and perhaps some showers. Those won’t help things now that the flowers are getting more fragile.
I’ll be posting regular updates before the weekend so you can get a sense of how things are progressing.
How Things Look Today
Here are some photos taken early this morning to give a sense of how it looks today.
I’ve put together some more detailed information in posts on how to get there and where to park:
The Maine Ave parking lot (near the paddle boats) is still closed for parking to make way for the Welcome Area. It will remain in place at least through April 15.
The special one-way traffic restrictions are in place along Ohio Drive, so you can’t enter down by the John Ericsson Memorial (the Lincoln Memorial end). Instead, you’ll have to do the circuit around the Jefferson Memorial.
Alternative Locations for Cherry Blossoms
The cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin aren’t the only cherry blossoms in town, and if you miss the ones there by a few days you might have more luck at some of the alternative locations nearby. The ones I’ve seen elsewhere in town have been behind the ones at the Tidal Basin, so if you’re coming into town next week or next weekend, you still might be able to catch cherry blossoms elsewhere around town. You can find some suggestions 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.