The short version is that there's still not much to report. The cherry trees are still in their winter mode and aren't showing any signs of the buds developing yet. No peak bloom forecasts have been issued yet. Expect those to start coming in about 4 to 5 weeks.
It seems increasingly likely that DC will still be under COVID-19 restrictions in spring 2021 while the cherry blossoms are blooming. So it's shaping up to be a good year to follow along from afar from the safety and comfort of your home.
The short version is that there’s still not much to report. The cherry trees are still in their winter mode and aren’t showing any visual signs of the buds developing yet. No peak bloom forecasts have been issued yet. Expect those to start coming in about 4 to 5 weeks.
After a very cold start to the year, temperatures have moderated, and we’re now back to tracking right around the average (0.2° below normal for the month, as of this morning). If temperatures continue to be around normal (and that’s always a very big “if”), then we’d expect the cherry blossoms to come out close to their historical average around the very end of March into the very beginning of April. If it’s significantly warmer than normal, it encourages an earlier bloom. If it’s colder, it pushes the bloom later. If you’re making travel plans and want more information on the historical averages to help you make a calculated guess, you can find some here.
Long-range weather forecasts this far out have to be taken with a giant grain of salt, but there’s some indication that February might be cooler than normal.
The very important caveat is that as we head further into the spring significant deviations from average temperatures can start having more effect. That is, warmer-than-normal temperatures in March matter more than warmer-than-normal temperatures now. So it’s still entirely possible for things to change.
These photos were taken this morning. As you can see, the Tidal Basin has thawed out since the last update.
If you’d like to volunteer to help with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, you can find more information and the registration form on their website.
If you’re coming in from out of town, there are some new options this year for hotels within an easy walk of the Tidal Basin now that The Wharf (a.k.a. Southwest Waterfront) is open for business. There are three brand new hotels there, and they’re about half a mile from the Tidal Basin, give or take. I have more on them here.
Because there’s not much happening right now, there’s not much need for frequent updates. But as the trees start waking up in coming weeks and there’s more to report, I’ll also start posting more frequent updates.
Last updated February 4, 2018