It's still too early to pin down 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.
It has been a much warmer-than-normal winter so far. And there's not much in the available forecasts to suggest that that pattern is likely to change as we get into March. So all indications at this point suggest an early bloom. That said, we're dealing with the weather, and if we get a sustained cold spell in March, it can slow things down considerably.
It has been a cold and dreary day, even before the rain set in, but there’s finally something to report on the trees themselves. Some–but not all–are starting to show their first green buds poking through. It’s the first visual sign that the cherry blossom bloom process is now rolling. That’s a bit later than it has been in the last couple of years, and some cold weather coming this week will slow things down some more.
UPDATE: The NPS determined that 70% of the Yoshino cherry trees had reached the green bud stage on March 5.
The folks at the National Park Service are scheduled to issue their initial peak bloom prediction for 2019 at a press conference this coming Wednesday. So stay tuned for more updates over the coming week.
This time last year, we’d just seen off a major windstorm that had damaged a number of trees around the area.
Despite some very cold spells in January, so far the winter temperatures have been averaging a little above normal.
Here’s how the pattern looks on a day-by-day basis. The blue line represents daily averages since the beginning of December; the red line represents the historical averages.
And here’s how that translates into monthly averages:
- March: -2.5° (as of March 3)
- February: +3.2°
- February: +3.4 (as of Feb. 25)
- January: +1.2°
- December: +3.8°
How It’s Looking at the Tidal Basin Today
It’s cold and dreary (and now damp).
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.