Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Decision on parade balloons will be day of parade

The Green Goblin couldn't bring down Spiderman, but New York's notorious winds might.

Blustery conditions forecast for Thanksgiving Day could dash the hopes of millions of revelers hoping to catch the giant versions of Spiderman, Spongebob or Pikachu who are among a lineup of 16 biggest balloons set to appear at Macy's 2013 parade.
 
While millions of travelers nationwide face delays as severe weather warnings are issued for Tuesday and Wednesday, Thanksgiving Day is predicted to be dry in New York, albeit cold, with gusty winds of between 15 to 25 mph in the morning, which could blow up to 40 mph before decreasing in late afternoon.
 
These conditions could force organizers to ground some of the biggest names in its famed fleet of helium giants.
 
Macy's released the following statement: 
"The decision on whether the giant balloons will join the line-up is made based on real-time on the scene weather data not via forecasts.
 
We are closely monitoring the weather as we do each year. Based on the city's guidelines, no giant character balloon will be operated when there are sustained wind conditions exceeding 23 mph and wind gusts exceeding 34 mph. At this time, it is too early to make any determinations on the flight of the giant balloons. 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.
 
Regarding the "degrees" of grounding, each giant balloon flies at different heights based on the current weather conditions. If we are under the cut off threshold and the giant balloons join the line-up, each will fly at their individually designated height for the actual wind condition being experienced that moment."

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