While the weather may look gloomy for one of the biggest travel days of the season, it should clear up in time for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
Showers are expected to taper off Wednesday afternoon and conditions should be mostly cloudy by night as a frontal system moves out to sea, the National Weather Service forecasted.
Gusty winds between 15 and 25 mph will follow the front and The Weather Channel warned that it may affect the balloon inflation for the legendary parade. However, on Wednesday morning crews began to blow up the balloons that signify the holiday for many Americans right on schedule.
Meteorologists expect Thanksgiving to be sunny, with a high of 52 and winds only hitting about 10 mph.
As for travel, AAA expects to see a rise of 4 percent and a total of 42.5 million travelers nationwide, with about 4.8 million people from the mid-Atlantic region. Ninety percent of nationwide travelers will be traveling via car.
“This is the only holiday this year that we’re seeing an increase in the number of those who are traveling,” AAA New York spokesman Robert Sinclair Jr. said, noting that travel on the Fourth of July and Labor Day was down 2 percent this year and Thanksgiving has been depressed since 2008.
“We’re thinking there’s a lot of pent up demand, and that people really want to see friends and family,” Sinclair explained. “Thanksgiving is unique in that usually, when you travel to visit family and friends, you get to stay with them and eat their food. That eliminates hotel and restaurant costs, which can be as much as 34 percent of the cost of a holiday trip.”
Both Nassau and Suffolk County Police have announced enhanced patrols for the roads throughout the holiday weekend. Officers will be looking out for drivers who are intoxicated or impaired, and will exercise zero tolerance for traffic violations such as safety belt use, distracted driving and cell phone usage.
Additional reporting by Rashed Mian