Peak bloom was observed on March 25, 2016.
The Peak Bloom Date and Blooming Period
The peak bloom date is defined as the day when 70% of the Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis) blossoms are open. Peak bloom varies annually depending on weather conditions. The most likely time to reach peak bloom is between the last week of March and the first week of April. Extraordinary warm or cool temperatures have resulted in peak bloom as early as March 15 (1990) and as late as April 18 (1958).
The Yoshino trees typically bloom for a period of several days. The length of the blooming period depends on weather conditions. Cool, calm weather can extend the length of the bloom, and a rainy, windy day can bring an abrupt end to the ephemeral blossoms. A late frost can prevent the trees from blooming at all.
Forecasting peak bloom is almost impossible more than 10 days in advance. The cherry trees' blossom development is dependent on weather conditions, which are inherently variable. National Park Service horticulturists monitor bud development and report the status of the blossoms. The following table shows bud development data for Yoshino cherry trees, the most common trees in the park.
||Extension of Florets
|2016||Mar 8||Mar 13||Mar 15||Mar 17||Mar 22||Mar 25|
|2015||Mar 18||Apr 1||Apr 4||Apr 6||Apr 8||Apr 10|
|2014||Mar 16||Mar 23||Mar 31||Apr 4||Apr 7||Apr 10|
|2013||Mar 11||Mar 17||Mar 26||Mar 31||Apr 4||Apr 9|
||Mar 27||Mar 31
Stage 1 Green Bud
Stage 2 Florets Visible
Stage 3 Extension of Florets
Stage 4 Peduncle Elongation
Stage 5 Puffy White