The annual bloom is considered one of the first signs of spring.
The cherry blossom trees on the National Mall in D.C. have reached peak bloom earlier than expected. On March 28, 2021, the National Park Service said warmer temperatures the last few days pushed the blooms from stage four to peak bloom. Originally, park officials had predicted the bloom would happen between April 2–5, right smack in the middle of Easter weekend.
To lessen crowds in the area, the National Park Service has closed roads to vehicle traffic and encouraged people to view the blossoms virtually on the bloomcam.
Peak bloom on the cherry blossom trees lasts several days and can be prolonged by cool weather and low winds. The forecast for the DMV region includes temperatures in the mid-50s and 60s, but looming thunderstorms and strong winds could blow the blossoms right off the trees.
The cherry trees have reached peak bloom after temps well above average last week sped us through the final stages of the blossom cycle - just four days from stage 4 to peak. Check out the pink and white blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin on the #BloomCam at https://t.co/OfPYrLqS2O pic.twitter.com/WjNqr8ifF5— National Mall NPS (@NationalMallNPS) March 28, 2021
The NPS has closed most of the roads around the Tidal Basin, East Potomac Park, and West Potomac Park. Cyclists and pedestrians can still access these routes, but NPS officials warn they could be closed if crowding becomes a problem. The following roads are closed effective March 26:
- Ohio Dr. SW, from Buckeye Dr. SW (Washington Channel side) to Independence Ave. SW
- East Basin Dr. SW east of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to Ohio Dr. SW
- West Basin Dr. SW from Ohio Dr. SW to Independence Ave. SW
- Northbound I-395 ramp to Potomac Park, Exit 2
- Southbound I-395 ramp to Potomac Park, Exit 2
- No parking is allowed curbside or in parking lots within the closure.
Park officials are encouraging to the public to view the cherry blossom trees virtually through the bloomcam. Powered by Earthcam, the camera rotates every 60 seconds and viewers can zoom in on the image. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is currently underway virtually and will continue through April 11.