Current 2019 Peak Bloom Forecasts:
National Park Service: April 3-6
Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang: April 1-5
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.
Where to Stay for the Cherry Blossoms?
If you're visiting from out of town and looking for ideas on where to stay, I've put together some suggestions here.
How to Get Updates on the 2019 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 detailed and include more current photos than the other options below. 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. (And, if you're interested, you can also follow my main travel photography account at @havecamerawilltraveldc.)
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 2019 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. Please note that the email lists do not carry over year to year, so even if you signed up in 2018 you'll still need to sign up again for the 2019 list.
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