There's not much new to report on the trees, but we should start getting some of the initial peak bloom forecasts coming out around 3 weeks or so. As always, I'll be updating the peak bloom page to keep it up to date.
We've seen some topsy-turvy temperatures lately, with a couple of extremely cold arctic blasts. While they were nothing like the brutal conditions further north, we still saw temperatures down around 10°F. But we've also seen some much-warmer-than-normal temperatures up into the 60s and 70s that have dragged the average up. So, despite those attention-grabbing cold spells, January still managed to average slightly above normal for the month. That's coming after a December that was also warmer than normal.
Here are the monthly averages so far for the 2018-19 winter:
- February: +4.8 (as of 2/10)
- January: +1.2°
- December: +3.8°
And here's how the daily average temperatures have been tracking (blue) compared with the historical average (red) so far since the beginning of December.
So far, then, temperatures have been warmer than normal. If that keeps up--and that's always a big if because things can change quite dramatically--it would suggest an early bloom. But there's still plenty of time for that to change, so I wouldn't be putting much stock in it just yet.
Because there hasn't been much new to report of late, the updates haven't been very frequent. But as there comes more to see and report in coming weeks, I'll increase the frequency of the updates. So stay tuned!
How It's Looking at the Tidal Basin
I've included some photos that I took yesterday. As you can see, the buds are about where you'd expect: fully wrapped up for the winter. So there's not much visual evidence yet of what's coming over the next 6 to 8 weeks.
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.
How to Get Updates on the 2019 Cherry Blossoms
There are several ways to keep up to date with Cherry Blossom Watch updates.
CherryBlossomWatch.com This website is Cherry Blossom Watch HQ. New updates post here first. They're also more detailed and include more current photos than the other options below. So be sure to bookmark and check back often. If you'd like to receive instant automatic notifications directly from the website when new updates are posted, take a look at the browser notification option below.
Instagram. Follow the dedicated Instagram feed at @cherryblossomwatch. The posts are usually shorter and less detailed, but they include freshly taken photos and post more quickly. (And, if you're interested, you can also follow my main travel photography account at @havecamerawilltraveldc.)
Facebook. Follow the Cherry Blossom Watch Facebook page. This is a good way to know when new updates are posted on the website, but because of the way Facebook's newsfeed algorithm works, there's no guarantee that every update will show up in your feed.
Email Newsletter. To the right of the page (or bottom, if you're using a mobile device) you can find a signup form for the 2019 cherry blossom watch email newsletter. This is sent out as a digest of the latest updates every week or so when new updates have been posted. Please note that the email lists do not carry over year to year, so even if you signed up in 2018 you'll still need to sign up again for the 2019 list.
Browser Notifications. On desktop web browsers you can click on the red bell icon at the bottom right of the screen to sign up for push notifications. When new updates are posted you'll get a notification automatically right in your browser. Works in Chrome, Safari, and Firefox only, for now.
RSS. RSS feed