Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Balloons could be grounded due to expected high wind

Keldy Ortiz

The large, high-flying balloons at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade may be on the ground this year due to high wind.

While temperatures are expected to be in the 50s, Tim Morrin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said strong wind is in the forecast.

“It will be noticeably breezy," Morrin said. “From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., winds will be up to 34 to 37 mph during the entire day. There will be sunshine but the winds will be noticeable.”

Under New York City regulations, winds over 23 mph and gusts over 34 mph call for the balloons to be grounded.

In a statement, Macy's spokesman Orlando Veras said it's too early to make a decision regarding the balloons. 

"On Parade morning, Macy’s works closely with the NYPD, who, based on the current weather data and the official regulations, determine if the balloons will fly and at what heights," Veras said in a statement. "Each is designed to fly at different heights and angles based on their shape and scale and the exact wind conditions along the route. The decision on adding the balloons to the lineup is made by NYPD and Macy’s officials just prior to the start of the Parade."

Thanksgiving guide: Our procrastinator's guide to a successful Thanksgiving

The regulation was passed after a windy Thanksgiving in 1997 when a Cat in the Hat balloon knocked down a lighting pole, injuring four people.

The balloons were tested earlier in the month in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Balloons are flown there to make sure the new ones can fly safety.