Cherry Blossom Watch Update: March 3, 2019

The first green buds are starting to poke through.

DC Cherry Blossoms in 2021

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.

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).

Last updated March 5, 2019

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