2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — live updates

  7:48 AM

Latest weather for the parade

As of 7:40 a.m. this morning, New York City officials have not yet made a decision about the giant balloons at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. They have stated a decision will be made right before the celebration starts.

Outgoing New York City Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill says he’s an “optimist” and is still hopeful the balloons will be featured in this year’s 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 even taken out of the parade altogether.

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.

  7:31 AM

New Balloons for the 2019 Parade

Weather permitting, here are some of the new balloons to watch for today:

  1. Astronaut Snoopy
  2. Green Eggs & Ham
  3. Love flies Up To The Sky
  4. Smokey Bear (he returns)
  5. Spongebob Squarepants & Gary
  Updated 7:12 AM

Parade security

The NYPD will have thousands of officers stationed along the parade route. They include counterterrorism teams with long guns, plainclothes officers mixed in with the crowd and about three dozen explosive detection K-9s. The department also plans to fly a drone to monitor the parade route.

All spectators will be screened with metal detectors at security checkpoints. Certain areas near the start and finish are off-limits or will have space taken up by staging for NBC’s live broadcast.

Police cars and sand-filled sanitation trucks are being positioned to stop vehicles from driving into the crowd and technology is being used to detect drones, which are illegal to fly over crowds in New York City.

Counterterrorism Chief James Waters said the technology detected several drones flying in the vicinity of the United Nations General Assembly gathering in September. They were all non-hostile, he said.

— The Associated Press

  Updated 6:59 AM

Will the parade balloons fly today?

Will the balloons be grounded? With high winds threatening to ground the balloons, that is the question on everyone’s minds leading up to the 93rd Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“It’ll be a game-day decision on what we’re going to do with the balloons,”  Chief of the New York Police Department Terence Monahan said at a Wednesday briefing on the police department’s parade safety measures. “At the end of the day, public safety is paramount, and we want everybody to enjoy the event.”

The balloons were inflated Wednesday night in the staging area near the start of the parade route on New York’s Upper West Side. If they’re allowed to fly this year, the intensity of the wind will determine how high they soar. Each balloon has a distinct risk profile, which factors in its size and weight and details the optimal altitude for a given wind speed.

Preview of the new balloons in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
  Updated 10:14 PM

Parade weather forecast for New York

The weather forecast for the the parade this morning calls for a mix of clouds and sun with a temperature of 46 degrees. Winds will come in from the west at about 23 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph. This is the threshold for restricting the balloons.

The danger with westerly winds is that every cross street the parade passes, brings the chance for strong winds. Some of the balloons have up to 90 people holding the ropes so the balloons do not blow away.

Typically, the balloons float at over 50 feet off the ground. If the balloons are allowed Thursday, the high wind gusts may required them to be held much lower toward the ground. In prior high-wind years, the balloons have flown as low as 10 feet above the ground.

Source : Cbs News