Winter Storm Moves North as Macy’s Waits to Make Parade Call

The winter storm along the U.S. East Coast that disrupted holiday travel plans and prompted speculation over whether the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature its trademark balloons was forecast to move into southeastern Canada overnight.

The system that brought wind-blown rain to cities including Boston and New York was located just east of northern Maine, according to a National Weather Service advisory at about 10 p.m. yesterday. Light snow that fell along the western side of the Appalachians has been gradually tapering off while heavy rain has moved away from most of the East Coast.

Winter storm warnings remained in effect for parts of the central and southern Appalachians, northern Pennsylvania, the Adirondacks in upstate New York and northern Vermont. A flood warning was in place for central Maine, according to the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

“The decision on whether the giant balloons will join the lineup is made based on real-time, on-the-scene weather data, not via forecasts,” said Holly Thomas, a spokeswoman for the 87th Macy’s parade. “We are closely monitoring the weather as we do each year.”

Lingering gusts of wind in New York would bring difficult conditions for crews controlling balloons for today’s parade in Manhattan, said Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire.

As of 1:20 a.m. New York time today, 14 flights were canceled around the U.S., compared with 307 yesterday, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking company.

Flight Delays

Delays of almost an hour were reported at New York’s LaGuardia yesterday and almost two hours at Philadelphia, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website. Some Newark traffic was slowed by more than an hour while at New York’s John F. Kennedy International, some flights were delayed 49 minutes, according to the FAA.

Cold air gripped the Northeast as the storm advanced, sending spot wholesale electricity to an 11-week high on Nov. 25. Natural gas futures snapped six days of gains today in New York, trading 0.2 percent lower at $3.889 per million British thermal units at 2:33 p.m. in Singapore.

Temperatures across the eastern U.S. are expected to be 5 to 8 degrees below normal through Dec. 1, said Matt Rogers, president of the Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. More seasonal readings will move into the U.S Northeast from Dec. 2 to 6, with temperatures rising about 3 to 5 degrees above normal across the South. The Pacific Northwest, however, will see the mercury fall to 15 degrees below normal in the same time frame.

That cold air is expected to move eastward, gripping an area from the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest by Dec. 7 to 11, Rogers said. The lowest temperatures will be across the upper Great Plains. At the same time, the U.S. Northeast may have readings staying seasonal or just below normal.

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