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.
There’s not much to see on the trees yet. Temperatures for February continue to average a few degrees above normal. And the National Park Service will be announcing their initial peak bloom prediction at a press conference on March 6.
Temperatures have still been swinging, but overall February continues to average a few degrees above normal. None of the long-range forecasts I’ve seen so far that look ahead into March seem to suggest a pattern of dramatically warmer or cooler temperatures settling in. From what I’ve seen so far, at least, we might see a continuing trend with temperatures averaging a little above average.
It’s hard to put much stock into long-range weather forecasts, of course, but for argument’s sake, if that pattern continues, it suggests a bloom earlier rather than later. In other words, late-March rather than early-April. Of course, this comes with the usual qualifier that things might well change and that weather forecasts often turn out to be wrong.
UPDATE: The forecast now is for a blast of Arctic air to hit the region in early March. We’ll just have to wait and see how cold it gets and for how long.
Here’s how the pattern looks on a day-by-day basis. The blue line represents daily averages since the beginning of December; the red line represents the historical averages.
And here’s how that translates into monthly averages:
- February: +3.4 (as of Feb. 25)
- January: +1.2°
- December: +3.8°
How it Looks at the Tidal Basin
These were taken at the Tidal Basin yesterday, just after the rain cleared out but before the wind picked up. A combination of a high tide and a swollen Potomac from all the rain meant that the Tidal Basin was overflowing its banks in quite a few places.
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.