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 “snow” is coming down more heavily now as more petals get knocked off in the breeze. So there are more petals on the ground and on the water, but there are many, many times more still on the trees. The flowers aren’t looking as fluffy and pristine as they were–especially up close–but from a distance they’re still very pretty. Every gust is bringing more and more petals down, and you can’t help but get them on you as you walk among the trees.
You can see some shots of how they looked this morning below. There are also some shots from the Floral Library.
A big thank you to the hundreds of people who have sent in their photos for the Reader Photos. You can find the latest installment of reader photos, posted yesterday, here and the first two here and here. Submissions are now closed–thanks again to all who have sent photos in.
Weekend of April 14-15. They peaked this past Thursday (April 5), so we’re now over a week after peak bloom. We had cool and calm conditions that helped the bloom last well, but conditions have turned. It’s now much warmer and breezier. That means more petals coming down all the time and more green leaves coming through as the trees move toward leafing out.
It also means that there’s likely to be reasonably big differences in relatively short periods of time. Each day there’ll be fewer petals on the trees to see, so if you have the chance, sooner is much better than later. By late Sunday, rain (and maybe even thunderstorms) is expected on and off into Monday. Given how fragile the petals are now, there’s every chance that’s going to make a real dent on how they look.
If you are coming in this weekend, there are two parades in the downtown area on Saturday as well as a march: the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and the Emancipation Day Parade and the March for Science on the National Mall. The Washington Post has a very good overview of the impact on the logistics of getting around, including road closures.
There’s a chance of rain Sunday night into Monday. That’s another strike against prolonging the bloom much longer.
How It Looks This Morning
These were taken mid-morning today. The petals are coming down at a much faster rate than they had been in previous days.
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.
More tulips in the Floral Library have come out just in the past few days. It’s not all of them–maybe 2/3 of them are now flowering–but there are multiple different varieties.
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.