When Will the Washington DC Cherry Blossoms Bloom?

Peak Bloom Dates for the Blossoms on the Tidal Basin

Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Washington, DC's cherry blossoms usually hit their peak blooming period in late March or early April. The National Park Service Head Horticulturist predicts the peak bloom period the first week of March each year.  The date when the Yoshino cherry blossoms reach their peak bloom varies from year to year, depending on the weather. Unseasonably warm and/or cool temperatures have resulted in the trees reaching peak bloom as early as March 15 (1990) and as late as April 18 (1958). The blooming period can last up to 14 days.

They are considered to be at their peak when 70 percent of the blossoms are open. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is planned at the end of March through mid-April so that the blossoms are usually in full bloom during the festivities. The average date of blooming is around April 4th.  Please note that sometimes the weather is so variable that the National Park Service changes their prediction after the season has begun.

2017 Prediction: The peak bloom date was predicted for March 19-22 before the snow storm that hit the east coast. The prime dates to see the cherry blossoms on the Tidal Basin is now projected to be March 24-27. The cold temperatures damaged about 50 percent of the blossoms so this year's blossoms are not expected to be as vibrant as they are most years. The Kwanzaa cherry blossoms are expected to bloom the first week of April. The National Cherry Blossom Festival events run through April 16 and will continue as scheduled.

When is the Best Time to See the Cherry Blossoms?

There is a very narrow window of time to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom. There is usually one or two weekends that the blooms are at peak and that is usually when the The Tidal Basin is the most crowded. The best time to see the cherry blossoms is on a weekday, in early morning or just before dark.

To learn more about the cherry blossoms, see the following:

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