The balloons at the traditional Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year were in jeopardy due to winter weather affecting the United States, as strong winds could ground some of the mainstays of the parade.The parade has a set of balloon-flight regulations that were put in place in 1997 after strong winds led to a Cat in the Hat balloon causing destruction, leaving four people injured and putting one woman in a coma for a month, according to The New York Times.Macy's has a licensed meteorologist at the parade every year to monitor weather conditions and wind gusts and to help make decisions about the balloons during the event.Trained New York Police Department (NYPD) officers are assigned to the balloons along with seven wind-monitoring devices called anemometers to measure gusts along the parade route.“We are always attuned to weather conditions for Parade Day,” said Orlando Veras, a Macy’s spokesman. “We monitor the weather on a daily basis, but at this time, it is too early to make any determinations.”Each balloon has a supervisor and its own "predetermined flight risk" based on its size and weight. The supervisors are updated on information from the anemometers during the parade and instruct handlers to reel balloons lower or higher based on changing wind conditions, according to Rodney Harrison, the NYPD’s chief of patrol.According to city regulations, the balloons cannot fly at all if there are sustained winds above 23 mph (about 37 km/h) or if wind gusts exceed 34 mph (about 54 km/h).In 1997, winds in excess of 40 mph pushed the six-story Cat in the Hat balloon into a lamppost. Part of the lamppost fell onto spectators, injuring four, including a 33-year-old woman who spent over three weeks in a coma.The incident led then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani to open an investigation that eventually led to the current regulations. In 2005, an M&M balloon hit a light pole in Times Square, leading to the injury of two spectators.The National Weather Service predicted on Tuesday afternoon that winds would reach up to 25 mph with gusts nearing 40 mph throughout the New York region on Thursday.On Wednesday, the NWS predicted that wind gusts could reach up to 50 mph during the parade, with wind speed varying between 15 to 25 mph throughout the area, according to CNN. Matthew Wunsch, a meteorologist at the NWS, warned that gusts in Manhattan could be even higher due to the wind tunnel created by tall buildings.