Editor’s Note: On Wednesday, March 11, NPS updated its peak bloom prediction to Saturday, March 21 to to Tuesday, March 24. We have updated this article to reflect that change.
On Wednesday, March 4, the National Park Service announced its peak bloom prediction, determining that the famed cherry blossoms that surround DC’s Tidal Basin will be at their best from March 21 to March 24.
According to NPS, the peak bloom date is defined as the day (or in this case days) when 70% of the cherry blossoms are open. While the dates vary each year depending on weather conditions, and the estimate from NPS is just a research-based prediction, the end of March is the most likely time for when the floras will reach their peak.
On March 3, NPS horticulturists caught the first glimpse of visible florets among the trees surrounding the Tidal Basin. Over the course of the next few weeks, the expert team will continue to monitor the cherry trees’ development, which may be altered due to an extreme drop of temperatures, windy weather or other unexpected changes in the climate.
The start of peak bloom comes just seven days after the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival begins, which commemorates Japan’s gift from 1912 of more than 3,000 cherry trees to the city of DC. Interested in participating in this year’s festivities? We have you covered, with this comprehensive guide that we will continue to update from now until the end of the festival.
Stay up to date on all things NoVA with our weekly newsletters.