Cherry Blossom Watch Update: April 9, 2018

The cherry blossoms are still holding up well and looking beautiful. You have to look closely to see that they're moving past their prime.

DC Cherry Blossoms in 2021

It seems increasingly likely that DC will still be under COVID-19 restrictions in spring 2021 while the cherry blossoms are blooming. So it's shaping up to be a good year to follow along from afar from the safety and comfort of your home.

It’s cloudy and cold, but the cherry blossoms are still in full bloom. You have to look closely to see that they’re moving beyond their prime as the petals start to look a little less fresh and vibrant and the first green leaves start poking through. The sign that’s easier to see is that there’s a little more cherry blossom “snow” on the ground as the petals start coming off in the breeze. For now, though, they’re holding up well and still looking beautiful.

Current weather forecasts suggest much cooler than average temperatures for a few days before warming up markedly late in the week, perhaps up around 80°. The cool and calm weather expected in the next few days will keep the trees looking good, but the much warmer conditions later in the week will hurry things along. That makes it hard to predict what will be left by the weekend, but if you have the chance to go in the first part of this week you’ll still be able to catch them looking very good.

Want to Share Your Best Photos?

Each year I post a selection of photos submitted by Cherry Blossom Watch Readers. You can see some examples from last year here.

The submissions for this year’s edition are now open closed. 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.

I’ll be posting the reader photos over the coming week.

Weekend Prospects

Weekend of April 14-15. They peaked this past Thursday (April 5), so we’re now several days after peak bloom. In ideal conditions they can last a week or more beyond that, but the weather has been all over the place lately, so it’s hard to know what’s going to happen. Early forecasts suggested rain at the beginning of the week, but the current forecasts seem to have backed off that and suggest cool and calm condition through midweek, warming up significantly as we get into the weekend.

There’ll be several more updates before then so we can see how they’re tracking, so it’s worth checking back.

How Things Look Today

Some shots taken this morning to give a sense of how it looks today.

The Japanese Pagoda.

In the FDR Memorial.

The Japanese Lantern.

The Washington Monument.

Looking in towards the FDR Memorial.


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.

Videos from the Tidal Basin

I’ve started posting some short video clips from the Tidal Basin showing how things look using the Instagram Stories feature. So if you want an alternative view, you can find them there. I can also post them more quickly, before the more detailed updates post to the website.

You can find the Instagram account at @cherryblossomwatch.

Last updated April 11, 2018