The National Park Service issued its first forecast for the season with a cheeky announcement inspired by “Game of Thrones.”
There are plenty of reasons to visit Washington, D.C., this spring. And if you time it right, you could be there during the short window when the city’s famous cherry blossoms are in peak bloom.
This year peak bloom will fall between April 3 and 6, according to the first forecast from the National Park Service, which operates the National Mall and Memorial Parks where the 3,800 cherry trees are located. As of March 5, the trees are currently in the first phase of blossom, known as the “green bud” state.
Defined as the day when 70 percent of the blossoms on the Yoshino cherry trees are open, peak bloom typically happens between the last week of March and the first week of April in Washington, D.C. While there are also Kwanzan, Takesimensis, and Akebono cherry trees within the National Mall, the Yoshino cherry trees are the most common, so the most popular time to visit is when they are in peak bloom.
In 2018, peak bloom happened on April 5. Two years ago, the flowers arrived a bit earlier on March 25 but were severely affected by a late frost in mid-March that killed off half the blossoms after they had started to bud.
Because forecasting this natural phenomenon isn’t 100 percent accurate until around 10 days beforehand, these dates could change if any exceptionally warm or cold weather hits D.C. in the upcoming weeks.
In addition to the National Park Service, the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang issued a similar forecast this week that says peak bloom will fall “between April 1 and 5, centered on the 3rd.”
For up-to-date information, follow the 2019 D.C. Cherry Blossom Watch at cherryblossomwatch.com.
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