Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 3, 2018

The cherry trees around the Tidal Basin have emerged mostly unscathed from the very strong winds we saw yesterday.

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.

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

Near the MLK Memorial.

Near the MLK Memorial.

West Potomac Park near the John Ericsson Memorial.

West Potomac Park.

Near the FDR Memorial.

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.

The Cherry Blossom Festival: Sakura Celebration
  • The Cherry Blossom Festival Sakura Celebration
  • Ann McClellan

This post was last modified on March 3, 2018, 9:44 am