Cool temperatures delay D.C.'s cherry blossom forecast by 10 days

It’s a waiting game for the annual cherry trees to bloom in Washington, D.C. Cool temperatures have pushed back the forecast date. (Photo show’s past blossom time.)
(Karen Bleier / AFP/ Getty Images)

It’s been a mixed season for cherry-tree watchers in the U.S. capital. The peak bloom of Yoshino cherry trees around the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial was forecast to begin Saturday. But the National Park Service forecast has been pushed to March 27 to 31 because of cool weather.

Travelers who want to see the profusion of pink may have to keep their plans flexible.

“On March 1, the peak bloom was projected to start between March 17 and 20,” the agency’s Facebook page said. “While the mathematical models still show the blossom reaching peak on March 18, this week’s cooler than forecast temperatures have necessitated moving the projection to the last week of March.”

The Washington Post forecasters revised their prediction to March 30 to April 3. The paper reported that “cherry blossoms are still advancing through the green bud stage” but have four more stages in their development before they bloom.


What the trees need are warm and sunny days, in the 60-degree and higher range. Temperatures in Washington, D.C., through Friday are expected to be cool, with a high of 53 degrees.

Still, the late blooms won’t stop the National Cherry Blossom Festival from going forward. It begins Saturday and continues through April 15, regardless of when the blossoms come.