Cold Follows Today’s Rains While Fate of Macy’s Balloons Waits

Temperatures will plummet overnight in the Northeast, bringing a cold and possibly blustery day for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and leaving the fate of the Macy’s parade balloons up in the air until the event starts.

Skies will be clear with winds of 15 to 25 miles (24 to 40 kilometers) an hour and higher gusts, according to Joey Picca, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, New York.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade officials, using city guidelines, won’t allow their giant balloons to fly if the wind is blowing more than 23 mph or gusting more than 34 mph, said Holly Thomas, a spokeswoman for the New York City event.

“The decision on whether the giant balloons will join the line-up is made based on real-time, on-the-scene weather data,” Thomas said today in an e-mail interview. “At this time it is too early to make any determinations on the flight of the giant balloons.”

The colder air follows a storm that dropped 2.39 inches (6 centimeters) of rain in Central Park as of 1 p.m., spread snow inland and contributed to more than 800 flight cancellations this week from Texas to New England. At least 11 deaths were blamed on the system as it moved north, according to the Associated Press.

Flights Scrubbed

As of 2:15 p.m. New York time, 248 flights had been grounded today, with New York City, Philadelphia and Newark, New Jersey, hardest hit, said FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking company. Philadelphia International Airport suffered the worst delays, with inbound flights held almost two hours because of low clouds, the Federal Aviation Administration said on its website.

Winter storm warnings and advisories lingered for parts of seven states, from New York to North Carolina, according to the weather service. Flood warnings and watches stretched from Maine to New York.

As of 1 p.m., 4.6 inches of snow had fallen in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, and 4.5 inches in Chenango County, New York, the agency said.

Light rain was expected to fall in New York through tonight, possibly changing to snow, Picca said.

“We had a cold front dragging along behind the low and the cold air is filtering in behind that front,” Picca said. “We expect temperatures to continue to drop through this afternoon and as we get to the 10 o’clock hour we will be in the mid-30s and below freezing overnight.”

With the winds expected for tomorrow, temperatures may feel as though they are in the teens, he said. Today’s high in Central Park was 61 degrees.

Tomorrow’s high in Boston is expected to reach 34 under clear skies. It will be 38 and sunny in Philadelphia and 36 in Washington, according to the weather service.