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 cherry blossoms this morning are still looking beautiful, but rain and light breeze has been knocking some petals off and creating a blanket of cherry blossom “snow” on the ground. There’s still an enormous number of petals still on the trees, though, and from a distance you really can’t tell. It’s only when you look up close that you see that they’re moving past their prime.
So far, the rain showers have been light. It looks like we can expect showers on and off through the rest of the day and into the early morning hours. So far, it’s making only a small dent, but it is making a dent. The more rain and wind we get, the more petals will come down. We’ll just have to wait and see how it looks when all is said and done tomorrow morning.
Reader photo submissions will be opening soon. You can find details on that below, along with more information and photos from this morning.
Reader Photo Submissions Opening Soon
Each year for the past few years I’ve posted a selection of the wonderful photos that Cherry Blossom Watch readers have sent in. You can see the first installment from last year here. I’m not quite ready to take submissions, but I’ll be posting the submission form sometime soon–so stay tuned and get your best shots ready!
Professional Photographers. I thought it might be fun to add a new part this year and showcase some of the work of the area’s professional photographers. If you’ve been down at the Tidal Basin anytime in the past week you will have seen them at work all the way around the Tidal Basin taking engagement, maternity, family, and graduation photos. So if you’re a local professional photographer and would like to submit a shot for consideration in the showcase, stay tuned for the submissions to open sometime in the coming days.
Cherry Blossom 10-Miler
If you’re heading down to the Tidal Basin this weekend, a heads up that Sunday morning sees the running of the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. That will see tens of thousands of runners in the area around the Tidal Basin and National Mall.
You can still get to the Tidal Basin and the cherry blossoms remain accessible, but it does make the logistics of getting to and from more complicated. Many of the roads in the area will be closed for the morning–including for parking.
Here’s the map of the road closures for the 2019 race:
You can find more information here.
And good luck to all the runners!
How It’s Looking at the Tidal Basin This Morning
These were all taken early this morning. The more rain and wind we get today, the more petals that will come down.
First Time Visiting?
I’ve put together some information on the monuments and memorials you’ll come across as you wander around the Tidal Basin.
I’ve also put together some suggestions of you’re visiting with young kids.
And please don’t climb on the trees, break branches, or pick the flowers!
The Tidal Basin’s parking lot by the paddle boats is now closed for the Cherry Blossom Festival Welcome Area. It will be closed through April 18.
Ohio Drive has been switched to the special one-way traffic pattern. You can still get to Ohio Drive, but you’ll have to go around the other side of the Tidal Basin, past the paddle boats, and enter by the Jefferson Memorial. According to one of the signs, the traffic pattern is due to stay in place until April 14. That seems a bit excessive, so it’s possible it might revert back to normal before then.
If you’re coming in from the Arlington side of the Potomac, be aware Memorial Bridge is undergoing major structural repairs. It is still open, but there are temporary traffic lanes that can impact traffic flow and where you can turn once you get off the bridge. So using one of the other bridges might be a better bet.
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.