WASHINGTON — Strong winds could throw a huge wrench in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. 

If the winds reach a certain threshold, there will be no big balloons floating high in the sky along the parade route.

Regulations were put into place after the 1997 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, when the 'Cat in the Hat' balloon was overtaken by strong winds, sending it into a light pole which injured 4 people.

Before the 1997 parade started, a balloon was shredded by a gust of wind and knocked out of the parade. According to the Associated Press, 17 other floats were stored overnight near the American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West. 

THANKSGIVING PARADE
Handlers struggle with a balloon while passing through New York's Times Square during the Macy's 71st Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 27, 1997. Winds of up to 30 mph kept the volunteer balloon handlers busy. At least one million spectators were expected to line the 2-mile parade route, city officials said. (AP Photo/Adam Nadel)
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Balloons cannot be flown when the forecast for winds is sustained above 23 miles per hour, or when wind gusts over 34 miles per hour.

The forecast wind gusts from the European model below shows gusts reaching this restricted threshold. Sustained winds will run between 20 and 25 miles per hour.

ECMWF Wind Gust Forecast
WUSA

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Despite the strong winds, the forecast for New York City Thursday morning will otherwise be mostly sunny and chilly with parade time temperatures in the 40s and wind chills in the 30s.

Looks like we will have to see if our favorite floats will make it up in the air on Thursday. Officials will make the final decision closer to parade time early Thursday morning. Officials have the option of letting the balloons fly at 55 feet but lowering them to ten feet along portions of the parade route for crowd safety.

RELATED: Thanksgiving Travel Weather

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