Cherry Blossom Watch Update: January 26, 2016

The cherry trees around the Tidal Basin are sitting amongst deep snow, and the Tidal Basin itself is frozen over.

Snow. Lots of snow. The official number was 17.8 inches at Reagan National Airport, which is just across the Potomac from the Tidal Basin. But that number almost certainly underreports it thanks to a flawed method of measuring. But however you measure it, it was a lot.

The cherry trees are sitting amongst deep snow, and the Tidal Basin and Potomac are both iced over.

We haven’t quite done with January yet, of course, but so far the month’s temperatures have been slightly below average, by 1.8°.

Here’s how we’re tracking so far in terms of average monthly temperatures compared with recent years:

DecemberJanuaryFebruaryMarchPeak Bloom Date
2019-20+2.4+6.4+4.8+7.3*March 20
2018-19+3.8+1.2+3.2+0.0April 1
2017-18-0.5-0.3+6.3-3.2April 5
2016-17+2.1+6.1+8.7-0.7*March 25
2015-16+11.5-1.1+0.9+6.5*March 25
2014-15+4.0-0.4-8.7-1.5April 10
2013-14+2.6-3.8-1.2-3.9April 10
2012-13+5.9+4.3-0.7-3.0April 9
2011-12+4.9+4.7+5.3+10March 20
2010-11--1.3+3.6-0.9March 29
Data sources: National Weather Service / National Park Service.
ˤ = partial month, in progress
* = up until peak bloom

Because the temperatures in February and March tend to matter more to the bloom timing than those of December, we’re now heading into a crucial period. Over the next 5-6 weeks the experts at the National Park Service will start firming up their preliminary forecast for the peak bloom. As always, you can find the latest information on the 2016 peak bloom page.

360° Virtual Tour

Here’s a 360° virtual tour up amongst the trees.


And along the Potomac:

Last updated February 10, 2016

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