Winter Storm Boreas Could Ground Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Balloons Due To Wet And Windy Conditions

Giant Balloons Dazzle Onlookers During the 85th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Mickey Mouse balloon floats through Times Square during the 85th Macy's Thanksgiving day parade in New York.

The iconic balloons of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade may be grounded due to severe weather that’s already affecting New Yorkers. Winter Storm Boreas, as it is called by the Weather Channel, has brought plenty of rain to the East Coast and conditions are expected to worsen with wind gusts that could reach 36 miles per hour along with snow and rain.

The storm devastated the west last week and caused 13 deaths. The storm quickly made its way across the U.S. and the Weather Channel is predicting a mix of rain and ice to the Northeast. The mix of snow, ice, rain and windy conditions are causing headaches and delays for anyone traveling for Thanksgiving with Tom Niziol, from the Weather Channel, stating the storm will affect around 58 million people.

Snow is forecast for the interior northeast, western New York to the Appalachians, while freezing rain and sleet could occur around upstate New York all the way to northern Main. Rain is expected to keep falling throughout Wednesday for New York up to New England.

While Boreas is affecting travel before Thanksgiving it could also ruin the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. The iconic balloons floating above Manhattan may be grounded due to windy conditions. As reported by the Associated Press, windy conditions in 1997 led to a Cat in the Hat balloon striking a lamppost and seriously injuring a woman.

Balloons featuring Hello Kitty, Spider-Man, Buzz Lightyear and Snoopy, some as high as five-story building, could be grounded as the forecast calls for winds around 20 to 30 mph. AP reports wind gusts could reach 36 mph.

The call to ground the Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons won’t be made until Nov. 28. Macy’s spokesman Orlando Veras said to the AP, “On Thanksgiving morning, Macy's works closely with the NYPD, who, based on real time weather data and the official regulations, determine if the balloons will fly and at what heights.” The balloons have only been grounded once, in 1971, due to heavy rains.

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