Cherry Blossom Watch Update: February 6, 2017

It feels like spring today, with blue skies, warm sun, and still conditions. And it continues the trend of above-average temperatures we've seen through this winter.

It feels like spring. Blue skies, warm sun, and still. It’s one of several days this week where temperatures are expected to get into the 60s.

There are a couple of colder days expected later in the week, but even those are really just seasonally appropriate. Overall, we’re still tracking warmer than normal, and long-range forecasts are for that trend to continue through at least most of February.

Here’s how we’re tracking so far in comparison 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

Based on the warm temperatures we’ve had so far and the forecasts for more warm weather to come, the odds seem heavily tilted in favor of an early bloom. Of course, any time you’re dealing with long-range weather forecasts, it comes with a big asterisk. It’s quite possible March ends up being cold and slowing things down. We saw that happen in 2013. But for now, at least, it’s by no means a sure thing, but a mid- to late-March bloom is currently looking more likely than a later one.

Here are some photos from the Tidal Basin this morning. You can take a look at the post from this time last year for a direct comparison (last year’s peak bloom date was March 25).

Last updated February 9, 2017

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