It's a dreary but warm start to the day. We could end up with a record maximum later today, along with the risk of some violent storms.
More flowers are out on the indicator tree, and a handful of different varieties of cherries are starting to join it with their first blossoms. Most of the trees are spread somewhere between the green buds and extension of florets stages.
Stay tuned for the National Park Service's peak bloom prediction to be announced at a press conference later this morning. I'll post an update when they announce it, and you can of course always find the latest predictions on the peak bloom page.
Yesterday, the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang posted their peak bloom prediction of sometime between March 15 and 19. They have a good track record, and you can read their detailed rationale here.
It'll be interesting to see what the folks at the NPS say. Based less on the weather forecast and mostly on looking at where the trees are right now, I wouldn't be suprised if peak bloom actually ends up coming a little earlier than that. Many of the trees have already reached the florets visible and even extension of florets stages. The indicator tree is still a few warm days away from full bloom. But the key threshold is going to be 70 percent of the trees.
It's perfectly normal to have trees in different stages—not every tree is on exactly the same schedule. But to my eye there also seems to be a wider spread than usual this year, with some trees much further ahead than others. So it'll be interesting to see if we end up with a more drawn out blooming process than usual or whether they end up bunching up a bit more. In terms of peak bloom, the NPS arborists decide that the trees have reached that when 70 percent of the Yoshinos are in full bloom. It might be that we end up a slower build-up this year.
Temperatures So Far
February closed out nearly 9 degrees above average. It continues the pattern of much warmer than normal temperatures we've seen throughout the winter.
|December||January||February||March||Peak Bloom Date|
|2018-19||+3.8||+1.2||+3.9 (as of Feb 19)|
ˤ = partial month, in progress
* = up until peak bloom
Photos from the Tidal Basin Today
More flowers are out on the indicator tree, and you can now start to pick it out from a distance. There are still relatively few flowers on it, and it's still a warm day or two from full bloom, but it'll happen soon.
You can find more on the indicator tree here.
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.