Arctic Blast Forecast Imperils Macy’s Parade Balloons

The Weather Channel reports:

Another blast of cold air is expected to bring one of the coldest Thanksgivings on record for some Northeast cities. A strong area of high pressure from the Arctic Circle will descend southward across Canada and into the Northeast, sending temperatures plummeting toward levels you might expect on New Year’s Day, not Thanksgiving Day.

New York City has only had three Thanksgivings dating to 1870 when the high temperature failed to rise out of the 20s, according to National Weather Service statistics. The coldest was a high of 26 degrees on Nov. 28, 1901. Forecast highs Thursday could be near that all-time record-coldest high set almost 117 years ago.

The New York Post reports:

Sustained wind could reach up to 25 mph and gusts could blow up to 35 mph, which would ground beloved balloons such as Charlie Brown, the Grinch and SpongeBob SquarePants.

If sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts surpass 34 mph, none of this year’s 16 character balloons will be allowed to soar due to city regulations, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade spokesman Orlando Veras told The Post. It would be the first time the city has grounded the colorful balloons since 1971.

In 1997, a woman was left in a coma when a powerful gust of wind caused the Cat in the Hat balloon to strike a streetlight, which fell and hit her head. Overall, Thursday’s low temperature is expected to be 21 degrees with a wind chill factor of 10 to 16 degrees.