The arborists at the National Park Service have judged that the famous cherry blossoms reached peak bloom today, April 1. That’s in line with their revised prediction. And it’s right around the historical average.
In terms of the major peak bloom predictions, the Washington Post‘s Capital Weather Gang nailed it with their initial prediction of April 1-5.
The National Park Service was very close, originally predicting April 3-6. At the end of March, with warm temperatures closing in, they revised that to April 1.
The NPS also said that the current weather forecast suggests that you can expect to see them in bloom for the next 7 days, which is good news for anyone visiting this coming weekend.
How Long Do the Cherry Blossoms Stay Out? What if I’ve Missed Peak Bloom?
The day the cherry blossoms reach peak bloom is not, of course, the only day you can see the flowers. At a minimum, you can expect a beautiful sight for at least a few days before the peak bloom date and at least a few days after. Sometimes they can be out for a couple of weeks.
How long they’re out depends on weather conditions. In ideal conditions (cool, dry, calm), there can still be flowers to see a week or even more after the peak bloom date. So there might be a period of two weeks or more when the flowers are looking beautiful. In less-than-ideal conditions (wet, windy, hot, stormy), the flowers disappear more quickly, sometimes in as little as 4 to 5 days after peak bloom. I’ve put together a timeline with photos from previous years to give an idea of what you can expect to see during the different stages of the bloom.
The crucial point is that you don’t have to be there precisely on that specific day to be greeted with a beautiful spectacle. There are still flowers to see in the days before and after that.
And if you’re too late for the Yoshino peak bloom by two or three weeks, you might in luck for a different variety that is also very pretty: the Kwanzan cherry blossoms. Tulips are another spring highlight around the area, and you can find them at a number of places around the National Mall as well as further afield.
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.