It's still too early to pin down when DC's cherry blossoms will bloom in 2020, and no peak bloom forecasts have been issued yet. Stay tuned for the first peak bloom forecasts to be announced around the beginning of March.
It has been a much warmer-than-normal winter so far. And there's not much in the available forecasts to suggest that that pattern is likely to change as we get into March. So all indications at this point suggest an early bloom. That said, we're dealing with the weather, and if we get a sustained cold spell in March, it can slow things down considerably.
The cherry blossom buds are still wrapped tight for winter, but there are some other scattered signs of spring popping up around the area. Some of the earliest apricot blossoms and other flowering fruit trees are just starting to show some flowers, and there’s even the occasional daffodil trying to get a jump start.
Temperatures for February are still averaging a few degrees above normal, continuing a trend we’ve seen through the winter. You can see the trend on a day-by-day basis on this chart. The blue line represents daily averages since the beginning of December; the red line represents the historical averages. As you can see, despite some pretty wild swings, overall the blue line has been above the red line more than below it.
And here’s how that translates into monthly averages:
- February: +3.9 (as of Feb. 18)
- January: +1.2°
- December: +3.8°
If that continues, it suggests an earlier bloom. Of course, there’s still plenty of time for mother nature to send cold air our way and slow things down.
Looking ahead for the next couple of weeks, the National Weather Service is expecting slightly higher-than-normal temperatures continuing, although it looks like it might turn colder as we start into March.
Peak Bloom Forecasts
There aren’t any peak bloom forecasts issued just yet, but the first ones should start coming out in a couple of weeks.
As always, you can find up-to-date information on the latest forecasts on the 2019 peak bloom predictions page.
At the Tidal Basin
Here’s how it was looking yesterday.
Early Spring Flowers
Some of the other flowering fruit trees are just starting to show the first flowers. These photos were taken of a couple of trees next to the DC World War I Memorial, just across the street from the Tidal Basin. For now, each has only a few flowers starting to show, but a few warm days will bring out many more.
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.