Windy weather could alter, ground Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon flights

Photos: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2018
Posted at 5:53 AM, Nov 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-28 05:53:23-05

NEW YORK (AP) — How high will they fly?

That’s going to be the question of the morning on Thursday for the giant balloons at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Parade officials and New York City police are keeping an eye on wind gauges along the 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) parade route that snakes through Manhattan.

If wind speeds reach dangerous levels, the 16 helium balloons including Smokey Bear and Snoopy could be brought down to float at a lower level or taken out of the parade.

The National Weather Service is projecting sustained winds of up to 24 mph (39 kph) with gusts to 40 mph (64 kph) during the parade.

City rules require balloons to be grounded if sustained winds exceed 23 mph (37 kph) and gusts exceed 34 mph (55 kph).