It's still too early to guess with any confidence 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.
The winter so far has been much warmer than normal. January and February have both tracked well above average. If that continues--and that's always a big "if"--it points to an earlier-than-average bloom, more late-March than early-April. But there's still plenty of time for cold weather to arrive and settle in, so it's still too early to predict with confidence.
The cherry trees around the Tidal Basin have emerged mostly unscathed from the strong winds we’ve had the past day or so as we caught the outer edge of the vicious nor’easter that has been slamming the northeast.
There are other types of trees nearby that have taken a beating, as you can see in some of the photos below. But even some of the oldest of the cherry trees that have big, heavy branches arching out at strange angles have come through just fine.
It’s still breezy out, but nothing like it was yesterday. The highest wind gust measured at National Airport, just across the river from the Tidal Basin, was 62 MPH with an average windspeed of 30 MPH out of the northwest. I didn’t walk the entire perimeter of the Tidal Basin this morning, but I came across relatively little damage to the cherry trees.
The buds themselves are just fine. They’re still bundled up tight and well protected. So the wind won’t have any effect on the progress toward the bloom.
The latest 8-14 day forecast from the National Weather Service suggests that we’ve going to have cooler temperatures for a bit and then around the middle of the month things will warm up. And it’s those warmer temperatures that are going to speed things up. This map shows the current assessment of the probabilities that temperatures will be cooler or warmer than average for the period March 10 to 16. As that orange section moves from left to right and gets across to us it will give the cherry blossoms a spurt of energy.
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.