FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — A Wind Advisory issued by the National Weather Service through 6 p.m. Monday has been expanded for all of Fairfield County and Connecticut.
The strong winds are not welcome this Sunday as the big balloon parade prepares to step off at noon Sunday in Stamford. Despite the strong winds, as of 10 a.m. Sunday, the balloons were still a go to float along the city streets, according to organizers at Stamford Downtown Special Services District.
The weather service is warning of westerly winds could reach 15 to 30 mph with gusts of up to 50 mph — which could be too strong for the big balloons .
The winds will be strong enough to blow down trees, limbs and power lines, the weather service warns. Minor property damage and scattered power outages are possible and can also make driving difficult.
The threshold for the huge balloons to fly in the UBS Parade Spectacular in Stamford is 25 mph — anything higher is not safe, according to organizers. If the predicted winds occur, the parade will step off — but without the 15 giant balloons that are its trademark.
Sandy Goldstein, president of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, said she's hoping for the weather to hold out and cooperate.
Goldstein said a decision on marching with the 15 balloons will be made Sunday morning, a few hours before the parade is scheduled to start.
But regardless of the balloons, she promised that the parade will step off, with spectators able to enjoy the bands, floats, dancers and, of course, Santa Claus.
The starting point is at the intersection of Summer and Hoyt Streets. The parade continues down Summer Street and makes a left on to Broad Street and then a right on to Atlantic Street where it ends at 400 Atlantic St.
Overall, the weather won't be very spectator friendly. Overnight rain and snow has given way to a windy Sunday, with a chance of more rain and even snow in the afternoon with a high temperature of near 40 degrees.
A chance of rain and snow showers continue into the evening, with low of about 30 degrees and wind chill values between 20 and 25 degrees.
On Monday, there is a 30 percent chance of snow showers before 11 a.m. It will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 43 but with wind chill values between 25 and 30. Breezy conditions will continue, with a west wind of 25 mph and gusts as high as 45 mph.
Monday night will be mostly cloudy, with a low near freezing.