Macy's Parade Organizers Eye Windy Forecast

High winds could ground the balloons.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    City officials and organizers of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade are closely watching the forecast for Thursday, when high winds could ground the world-famous balloons.

    Forecasters say winds on Thursday could edge up between 15 and 20 mph, which would still be under the 23 mph limit for letting the balloons fly.

    A parade spokesman said officials are monitoring the weather and noted that the flight of the balloons is "based on real conditions about an hour before the parade begins, and not advance forecasts."

    "Weather patterns can sometimes change dramatically from day to day and even hourly, and so Macy's and city officials rely on current data to determine if and at what heights the giant balloons will join the line-up," said the spokesman, Orlando Vegas.

    The weather for the Thanksgiving extravaganza that begins at 77th Street and Central Park West and marches to Herald Square has drawn extra attention after some few high-profile accidents over the years.

    Two sisters were injured in 2005, when tethers from the M&M's Chocolate Candies balloon became entangled on the head of a street lamp. The women suffered cuts and bruises.

    And in 1997, two people were seriously hurt as a Cat in the Hat balloon slammed into a metal pole.