WeatherStorm Tracker Blog


Frigid Thanksgiving Morning for the Northeast

Posted at 9:33 PM, Nov 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-22 21:33:25-05

Give thanks that you didn’t wake up in the Northeast this morning. A strong Arctic front swept through the area yesterday, ushering in an air mass straight off the express train from Siberia. Record lows were tied or broken in 38 Northeast cities across eleven states.

Dots signify sites that tied or broke the record low on November 22nd. Map courtesy of

This morning’s frigid temperatures weren’t just historical for the date, but also for the holiday. Most notable this was the second coldest Thanksgiving morning in New York City. This morning’s low also made for the coldest Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since the parade’s inception in 1924.

It wasn’t just temperatures in the single digits and teens that made this morning so brutal. It was also the wind. Many New Englanders braced for sub-zero wind chills as 20 mph winds blew through. The blustery conditions could have grounded the balloons in the Macy’s Parade. The helium-filled balloons won’t fly down the streets of Manhattan if sustained winds are stronger than 23 mph or gusts greater than 34 mph. Fortunately the winds relaxed just ahead of the parade’s start time, and the all-clear was given.

If you were watching this morning and thought the balloons were flying a little low, you might be right. When it gets too cold the helium inside the balloon compresses. Handlers will often “top off” the balloon on parade day. The cold air still might have been a little too much for this year’s featured characters.