It’s hard to imagine that last year at this point, we were still in the thick of winter. The Tidal Basin was locked in ice until the middle of March and the cherry blossoms didn’t peak until April 10 — two days before the festival ended.

This year, the mild weather we’ve experienced in early March has sped the development of the cherry tree buds. Forecasts predict peak bloom to occur between March 18 and 28. The National Park Service forecast is on the early end of the range, and our forecast is on the later end.

As of Sunday, buds on some of the cherry trees at the Tidal Basin were beginning to burst open with visible pink florets. The National Park Service officially categorized Sunday’s blossoms as “florets visible.” They could be looking good by next weekend!

All of the photos were taken on March 13, 2015 and March 13, 2016. What a difference a year makes!