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Cherry Blossom Watch Update: February 14, 2018

There's not much to see on the trees yet, but things will start picking up in coming weeks. The National Park Service will be announcing their peak bloom prediction on March 1.

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.

The Japanese Pagoda in the foreground, with the Jefferson Memorial in the background at left.

These are some of the oldest of the trees. They're over by the MLK Memorial.

This post was last modified on February 14, 2018 4:57 pm

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