More than 1,400 flights were canceled in the US on Thursday morning as Winter Storm Elliott brought snowfall, strong winds and freezing temperatures to parts of the country and upset Americans’ holiday travel plans.
As of 9:30am Thursday morning, 1,518 flights to, from, or to the US were delayed, while 1,439 flights were canceled – more than double the number of flights canceled on Wednesday (595), according to flight tracking site FlightAware.
Winter Storm Elliott comes as the Great Plains is devastated by heavy snow and winds, causing the National Weather Service to issue a perilous travel warning and airlines to begin offering travel exemptions for affected passengers and allowing people to change their flights for free.
So far, the hardest hit airport has been Chicago O’Hare International, with 212 canceled and 41 departure flights (25% total), as well as 243 canceled and 38 delayed flights (26%).
The next worst is Denver International Airport, with 156 and 38 delayed departures (20%) and 186 canceled and 26 delayed flights (22%) reported as of 9am.
Several state governors have declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm, with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) warning “this is going to be really dangerous” and urging residents to “stay inside and hopefully squat with your family.” , for the Christmas holidays.” The National Weather Service also Louis issued winter storm warnings and advisories for cities in the Great Plains, Midwest, and Northeast, including Buffalo, Detroit, and Chicago.
What to Watch?
Meteorologists expect the storm to bring blizzard conditions in the Midwest through Thursday and through Friday. wind gusts Up to 55 mph in places like Chicago. Locations from Kansas City to Michigan could also be hit by a so-called bomb cyclone (a rapidly intensifying storm) that provides heavy rain and poor visibility. Forecasters at Accuweather have warned of poor driving conditions along the Great Plains, from northern Oklahoma and Arkansas to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. On Friday, the storm is expected to hit the Northeast, bringing heavy rain and winds to much of New England and New York, followed by freezing temperatures and potentially creating a layer of ice on roads. According to the Weather Channel, forecasts suggest the Great Lakes states will receive as much as a foot of snow. bisonNew York could see its worst, with estimates suggesting a “once-in-a-generation storm” that could bring up to a meter of snow.
Winter Storm Elliott: Travel Warnings, ‘The Hurricane the Bomb’ and What You Need to Know About How to Change Your Airfare (Forbes)
Winter storm will turn into bomb cyclone as it produces a blizzard in the Midwest (Accuweather)
Live updates: Strong winter storm will bring heavy snow and ‘dangerous’ cold, forecasters warn (NBC News)