Spring is such a gorgeous time in the nation’s capital, and the iconic cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin bring visitors from across the world. The Yoshino cherry trees have already produced buds, and we can expect peak bloom around March 22-25, the National Park Service (NPS) announced Wednesday — although Storm Team4 believes it could be even sooner.
No matter what, peak bloom in 2023 will be sooner than usual due to our relatively warm winter.
Last week, the park service announced the trees were already in stage one of six – one of the earliest dates ever for the trees to start blooming. The indicator tree is showing several different phases due to roller coaster temps from 80 degrees to frost over the past week, the NPS said Wednesday.
The most common time for peak bloom is between the last week of March and the first week of April, according to the NPS.
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Peak bloom is declared when 70% of the Yoshino trees' blossoms are out.
How Storm Team4 Predicts Peak Bloom
Storm Team made its own peak bloom projection for March 15-20, a bit earlier than the National Park Service's estimate.
With the changing climate, we’ve seen peak bloom move up from around April 6 between 1931 and 1960 to around April 1 in more recent years. The weather plays a big role in blooming dates. This winter was the third warmest on record, and the trees never went dormant.
Moving forward, warmer-than-normal temperatures will help speed the blossoms along.
There’s a possibility of cooler temperatures one to two weeks from now, according to the Climate Prediction Center. That could slow down the blooms.
But with a few warm days and based on the exceptional warmth we’ve had so far this year, 2023 could feature one of the earlier peak blooms on record.
Details on the 2023 National Cherry Blossom Festival
The popular cherry blossom festival will be held from March 20 through April 16, with events across the District such as the Pink Tie Party, Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run and 5K and the Japanese street festival.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse will serve as grand marshals of the parade along Constitution Avenue on April 15, officials had previously announced.
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