We haven’t had much snow this winter—well below average. We got a little last night. It was more than a dusting but not enough to cause any major headaches. Most areas seem to have gotten somewhere around an inch.
As often happens when the temperatures are borderline for snow, the accumulation around the Tidal Basin is a bit less than some areas nearby. It’s presumably due to the residual warmth (relatively speaking) of the water in the Tidal Basin that raises temperatures in the immediate area just enough to have an effect. So there’s no much sticking in the area immediately around the Tidal Basin. But go just across the river, and there’s more consistent ground cover in Arlington. You can see an example in the shot below of the Iwo Jima Memorial that’s under a mile and a half from the Tidal Basin.
Last night’s snow aside, it’s been a warm January. With only a couple of days to go, it looks like we’ll close the month out somewhere around 6° above normal. On the back of a warmer than usual December, so far the trend has been for above-normal average temperatures. If that trend keeps up—and I emphasize that’s a very big if—it suggests an earlier than average bloom. (The historical average peak bloom date is around April 3-4.)
But that’s by no means a lock. In the lead up to the 2013 bloom, for example, we had warm temperatures through December and January, but then things turned cold and we still ended up with a late bloom (April 9). So there’s still plenty of time for things to change.
UPDATE: The Washington Post‘s Capital Weather Gang predicts that February will be 3 to 5 degrees warmer than normal.
You can get a sense of how we’re tracking compared to other recent years with this table:
|December||January||February||March||Peak Bloom Date|
ˤ = partial month, in progress
* = up until peak bloom
Photos from the Tidal Basin this Morning
Here are some photos from this morning.
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.