Festival officials predict best dates to see DC cherry blossoms

The National Park Service on March 8 revised the predicted peak bloom dates to March 19-22. The story below has been updated to reflect the new dates. Click to read more. Get everything you need to know about visiting the Cherry Blossoms via WTOP’s Cherry Blossoms page.

WASHINGTON — National Cherry Blossom Festival organizers have announced the peak bloom dates to see this year’s blossoms as March 19 to 22.

Peak bloom — the optimal period to see the trees around D.C.’s Tidal Basin area — is when 70 percent or more of the cherry blossoms are open. The blossoms can remain on the trees for around four to 10 days, depending on weather conditions.

Last year, the peak bloom happened March 25. From 2013 to 2015, peak bloom came in early April, according to the National Park Service.

Gay Vietzke, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, said the NPS will continue to monitor the variable conditions, such as weather, that could affect the peak bloom.

Forecasting peak bloom is “almost impossible more than 10 days in advance,” according to the NPS. Cool, calm weather can extend the blooming period, while rain and windy weather can shorten the time frame the blossoms remain on the trees.

This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival will run will run from March 15 to April 16.

The Newseum in Washington, D.C. was the venue for the announcement of the peak dates of the cherry blossoms. (WTOP/Kristi King)
D.C. photographer Lateef Mangum walks the pink carpet during the announcement of the cherry blossom peak dates on Wednesday, March 1. (WTOP/Kristi King)
D.C. photographer Lateef Mangum walks the pink carpet during the announcement of the cherry blossom peak dates on Wednesday, March 1. (WTOP/Kristi King)

The 2017 cherry blossom pin displayed during the announcement of the cherry blossom peak dates at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on March 1. (WTOP/Kristi King)
The 2017 cherry blossom pin displayed during the announcement of the cherry blossom peak dates at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on March 1. (WTOP/Kristi King)

People and media await announcement of the cherry blossom peak dates at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on March 1. (WTOP/Kristi King)
People and media await announcement of the cherry blossom peak dates at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on March 1. (WTOP/Kristi King)

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D.C. photographer Lateef Mangum walks the pink carpet during the announcement of the cherry blossom peak dates on Wednesday, March 1. (WTOP/Kristi King)
The 2017 cherry blossom pin displayed during the announcement of the cherry blossom peak dates at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on March 1. (WTOP/Kristi King)
People and media await announcement of the cherry blossom peak dates at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on March 1. (WTOP/Kristi King)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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