There’s still not a lot to report. There’s not much to see on the trees yet, but things will start picking up in coming weeks. We’re starting to get into the period when the trees start waking from their dormancy, so there’ll be more development to see in the buds. And the National Park Service will be announcing their peak bloom prediction on March 1.
As you can see from these photos taken this morning, there’s not much to see on the trees themselves. The buds are still wrapped up tight; here’s a close-up to show what I mean. You can compare them to other close-ups from this time last year and see that the ones this year aren’t quote as far along just yet. But then, that’s not particularly surprising given that last year saw an abnormally early start to the bloom.
So far this winter temperatures have been pretty normal. We’ve had some colder days and some warmer days, but overall the average is hovering around the average.
Half-way through February, the average is only 1.3° above normal for the month. The beginning of the month was colder, but things have warmed up a bit now and the National Weather Service is expecting much of the rest of February to be warmer than normal. If those warmer-than-normal temperatures end up happening, and if they persist deep into March, the odds of a late-March bloom increase. But this far out, those are very big “ifs,” and as always, it’s hard to put too much stock in long-term weather forecasts. Things might yet change dramatically, as they did last year; it’s entirely possible that winter comes back with a vengeance in March.
How to Get Updates on the 2018 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 details and include more current photos than the other options. 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.
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 2018 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.
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
Books on DC's Cherry Blossoms
If you're looking for books specifically on DC's cherry blossoms for yourself or as a gift for someone, these two are my favorites.
- Ann McClellan
- Publisher: National Geographic