Current Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Predictions for 2018:
- National Park Service: March 27-31
- Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang: March 30 - April 3
You can find more information on the peak bloom forecasts page.
Around the Tidal Basin this morning, the buds are clearly making progress. And, as usual, the so-called indicator tree is marching ahead of the others. It’s typically a week to 10 days ahead.
Stay tuned for the National Park Service’s peak bloom prediction to be announced at a press conference later this morning. I’ll post an update when they announce it, and you can of course always find the latest predictions on the peak bloom page.
The Washington Post‘s Capital Weather Gang prediction is March 23-27.
Peak Bloom Forecasts
The National Park Service will be announcing their peak bloom forecast later this morning.
The Washington Post‘s Capital Weather Gang posted their own peak bloom prediction a few days ago. They’re predicting that peak bloom will come “during the window between March 23 and 27 this year, centered on the 25th.”
As always, you can check in with the peak bloom page to get the latest forecasts.
Temperatures So Far
February closed out 6.3 degrees above average. That’s what has helped the cherry blossoms, along with the area’s other flowers, get a jump start on spring.
Here’s how we’ve been tracking for the winter compared with the previous few years.
|December||January||February||March||Peak Bloom Date|
ˤ = partial month, in progress
* = up until peak bloom
Photos from This Morning
Here are some photos taken around the Tidal Basin this morning.
The so-called indicator tree is one that is consistently about a week to 10 days ahead of the others. I have more information in it, including on how to find it, here.
This time last year it was already blooming. Here’s how it was looking this morning.
If you’re coming from out of town, I’ve put together some suggestions on where to stay.
March for Our Lives Rally
The March for Our Lives rally on gun control is scheduled for March 24, 2018. That coincides with the first week of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
The rally’s organizers are planning for up to 500,000 people to attend. While DC handles big events in its stride, that’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.
B&H Photo has some really good deals at the moment on everything from cameras and lenses to tripods and lighting. These ones are running through March 3 to coincide with the WPPI conference.
Cherry Blossom Photo Tours
Walking photo tours can be a great way to learn some new photography skills with the help of experts. And photo tours for the cherry blossoms can take advantage of expert local knowledge to know where to be when to get the best light and vantage points.
If you’re looking to do a photo tour while you’re visiting, there are a few options. The best place to start is with Washington Photo Safari, but there are also some other options, which you can find on the DC photo tours page.
Most of these tours are limited to small groups, so it’s a good idea to book well in advance if you can. Of course, that also means rolling the dice in terms of when the cherry blossoms will be in bloom.
Renting Photo Gear
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.
How to Get Updates on the 2018 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 details and include more current photos than the other options. 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.
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 2018 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.
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
Books on DC's Cherry Blossoms
If you're looking for books specifically on DC's cherry blossoms for yourself or as a gift for someone, these two are my favorites.
- Ann McClellan
- Publisher: National Geographic