Cherry Blossom Watch Update: April 5, 2019

The rain we've been seeing today so far has only made a small dent, but it is making a dent.

Peak Bloom Reached on March 28

The National Park Service has restricted traffic and parking in the area around the Tidal Basin.

You can find the most recent photos from the Tidal Basin here.

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.

Here’s some information on getting to and from the cherry blossoms, and here’s some information specifically on parking options.

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.

Last updated April 5, 2019

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  • Hello David,

    We were there last week and weekend. We got to see the beautiful cherry blossoms for the first time. It was right before peak but many trees were in full bloom. Each day we went to Tidal Basin and the blooms had opened a little more. Your site really helped me in planning our trip from FL to DC. We will come back.

    How is fall there? Is it as spectacular as Spring?

    • Glad you enjoyed your trip! Fall in the area certainly has its appeal, but nothing that's quite the draw of the spring cherry blossoms.

  • You were a huge help to my timing in the cherry blossoms! I have been here since Friday the 4th and because of your regular updates I was able to see the blossoms in there glory on Thursday afternoon!! I got amazing shots and I thank you!! You’re amazing!!

  • Hi!
    Your site is awesome! Am here with family, mom is in a wheelchair. Your map with the orange trail is so helpful. We are staying in Greenbelt and plan to go tmrw (Saturday). Any tips??

    • Nothing specific comes to mind. After the rain, and especially at high tide (around 9:30am tomorrow) you might find some of the walkway along the waterfront has large puddles or even flooded. But there are alternate paths running parallel that are on higher ground. It can be particularly a problem near the FDR Memorial, in which case, you can go through the FDR Memorial, which is itself thick with cherry blossoms and is well worth a visit on its own merit. The paths rejoin at regular intervals.

  • David,
    I stumbled upon your web site several weeks ago, and based on your updates, we changed our travel plans from this upcoming weekend to Wednesday and Thursday this week. We were not disappointed!!! My wife and I are moving from the east coast (Long Island) to the Southwest and we both wanted to see this before our move in July as we may never make it back here once we move. Having never been to Washington for the Cherry Blossoms, we weren't sure what to expect. However, your expert guidance and suggestions help make our trip a memorable one. Thank you so much!!!
    Karl and Mary Klug