Around 20 percent of the Yoshino trees were already in full bloom Monday, according to the National Park Service. Given the progress the trees are making this week, forecasters expect peak bloom to occur at some point between Thursday and Sunday. Peak bloom occurs when 70 percent of the trees are in full blossom.
Warm temperatures late last week pushed the blossoms out of their cocoons, and they’re all but unstoppable now. As long as the wind doesn’t get too strong, peak bloom at the Tidal Basin will be picture perfect.
Thunderstorms are possible Wednesday, which could generate damaging wind gusts. This isn’t a high likelihood, but the position of the trees next to the Tidal Basin and Potomac River, without buildings or other trees to undercut the gusts, makes them more susceptible to wind.
Park Service horticulturalists monitor a specific group of Yoshino cherry trees to track them through the six stages to peak bloom: green buds, florets visible, extension of florets, peduncle elongation, puffy white and peak bloom. The trees reached the puffy-white stage Monday, which means peak boom is just a couple of days away.
Temperatures on Wednesday will get up to around 60 degrees, which will help the blossoms along. The weekend will be chilly with a chance of snow (really), so if you plan to head down to the Tidal Basin, bundle up. Highs are only going to be in the 40s, which is about 20 degrees colder than normal.
It won’t be the best blossom weather, but the view will be fantastic.