Cherry Blossom Watch Update: February 10, 2019

Despite some attention-grabbing cold blasts in recent weeks, the temperatures so far this winter have continued to average warmer-than-normal overall. But there's still not much to see on the trees.

DC's cherry blossoms reached peak bloom on April 1, 2019. They're now done for the year.

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.

At the MLK Memorial.

This stretch along the western bank between the MLK Memorial and the Japanese Lantern includes some of the oldest of the trees, including some that are over a century old.

This stretch along the western bank between the MLK Memorial and the Japanese Lantern includes some of the oldest of the trees, including some that are over a century old.

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.

Last updated February 10, 2019 10:10 am

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