The Washington Post

Peak bloom! Washington, D.C.’s cherry blossoms in their prime (PHOTOS)

Sunrise at the Tidal Basin on April 9 (Sabrina Yow-chyi Liu)

The National Park Service declared the Tidal Basin’s cherry blossoms at peak bloom this morning.  Spring now seems to have unambiguously arrived in Washington, D.C., finally.

This is the second latest peak bloom in Washington, D.C. since 1992.  It comes nearly a week later than the long-term average peak, April 4, and 11 days  after the more recent average, March 31 (since 1992).  It falls one day after last year’s peak bloom date, April 9.

Cherry blossom bud development and peak bloom date by year (National Park Service)
Cherry blossom bud development and peak bloom date by year (National Park Service)

The blossoms’ bud development got off to a slow start thanks to cold March temperatures, about 4 degrees below average.  But warm temperatures in the first 10 days of April, roughly 2 degrees above average, helped the buds gain some ground.

With the exception of Friday afternoon into Saturday morning – when rain showers are possible, the next several days should offer picture perfect blossom viewing conditions.  Very mild temperatures – into the 70s – and sunshine is forecast.  When a cold front comes through Monday night into Tuesday with rain and wind, the blossoms may get disturbed and pass their prime.

Recent photos

1. After sunrise this morning (Jenn Wurz)

2. This morning (Navin Sarma)

3. This morning (Buddy Secor)

(Buddy Secor)
(Buddy Secor)

4. This morning (Rich Pezzillo)

(Rich Pezzillo)
(Rich Pezzillo)

5. This morning (Navin Sarma)

6. This morning (Howard Bernstein)

7. Wednesday evening (Rob Cannon)

 8. Wednesday evening (Richard Barnhill)

9. Wednesday afternoon (Angela N)

10. Wednesday afternoon (Christine Ruffo)

Related content:

New! – Guided tour of the blossoms

DC blooms: Where to find cherry blossoms in your neighborhood.

2013 and 2014 cherry blossom coverage

Ten days of cherry blossoms (PHOTOS, 2012)
Cherry blossoms bursting out (PHOTOS, 2012)
Cherry blossoms with an overcast sky (PHOTOS, 2011)
Washington’s cherry blossoms in the snow (PHOTOS, 2011)
A cherry blossom bird’s-eye view (PHOTOS, 2010)
Cherry Blossoms Wind Down as D.C. Greens Up (PHOTOS, 2009)
Cherry Blossom Morning (PHOTOS 2009)
Washington D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Bloom Begins (PHOTOS, 2009)
Photography: Falling Blossoms & Spring Scenes, Kevin Ambrose (2008)
Photography: A Blooming Good Time (2008)
Photography: Glorious Cherry Blossom Sunrise (2008)
Photography: Cherry Blossoms by Night (2008)
Photography: Flying High as Spring Blossoms (2008)

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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David Streit · April 10, 2014

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