It's still too early to guess with any confidence 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.
The winter so far has been much warmer than normal. January and February have both tracked well above average. If that continues--and that's always a big "if"--it points to an earlier-than-average bloom, more late-March than early-April. But there's still plenty of time for cold weather to arrive and settle in, so it's still too early to predict with confidence.
The past couple of days have been very soggy and foggy. And while temperatures haven’t been anywhere near the scorchers we saw last week (well, scorchers for February), it has still been consistently warmer than normal. As we near the end of February, we’re tracking 6° above average for the month. The National Weather Service is currently predicting that March will begin around average temperatures but get colder a week or so in.
On the trees, more of the green buds are starting to come through. There are still a lot more to go, but the progress is getting much easier to see visually now.
National Park Service Peak Bloom Prediction
The NPS will be announcing their initial peak bloom prediction for the season at a press conference on March 1. Stay tuned–I’ll have updates here.
March for Our Lives Rally
The March for Our Lives rally on gun control is scheduled for March 24, 2018, coinciding with the first week of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Organizers are planning for up to 500,000 attendees. While DC handles big events in its stride, it’s likely to create a lot of competition for hotel rooms that weekend. So if you’re planning to come into town then, it’s probably best to book sooner rather than later.
For Photographers: Gear Rental
It’s starting to be a good time to plan for the gear you want to use to capture the spectacle. I’ll be posting some more specific photography tips and recommendations as we head into the bloom.
If you’re looking to rent some gear, whether something specialized or just to try out something different, I can recommend both BorrowLenses and Lens Pro to Go. They’re the ones I typically use when I need something specific for a client shoot or am just curious about trying something out. Lens Pro to Go currently has 15% to 25% off through March.
For local options, Ace Photo, District Camera, and f8 Rentals also offer rental gear, although their selections are often not as extensive as the big online places. And if you’re shooting video, DC Camera’s offerings are worth a look.
Photos from this Morning
Some of the area’s other spring flowers are starting to come out. I haven’t come across any daffodils out yet, but there are buds that are definitely getting close. Here are a couple of shots taken this morning; there are some more in the update from last week.
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.