Friday Flight Cancellations Top 4,000, Disrupting Christmas Travel For Millions
Air travel disruptions continued to worsen Friday morning into the early afternoon.
Flight tracking website FlightAware reported more than 4,000 flights within, into, or out of the US were canceled. Another 4,300 were delayed due to adverse weather conditions as a powerful winter storm and arctic blast battered the country's eastern half.
FlightAware's Misery Map shows the highest cancellations at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
Ryan Maue, a private meteorologist, tweeted a stunning temperature anomaly chart of the Lower 48, indicating much of the country will be "more than 20°F below average at 1130 AM ET."
Lower 48 states more than 20°F below average at 1130 AM ET.— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) December 23, 2022
Coldest compared to normal: Kentucky and Tennessee more than 40°F below normal for midday. pic.twitter.com/4TmBqu5Hv9
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More than 150 million Americans are under weather alerts as a massive winter storm moves east across the US, blanketing regions with accumulating snow and leaving behind dangerously cold weather. Adverse weather conditions have been enough to cause the second day of travel chaos across the country's eastern half, just one day before Christmas weekend.
After 2,500 flights were canceled Thursday, another 3,100 have been canceled as of 0600 ET Friday, according to flight tracking site FlightAware. These flights include within, into, or out of the US. About 800 have been delayed so far.
FlightAware shows New York's LaGuardia, Detroit, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, and Boston airports have the most cancellations and delays.
The peak intensity of the winter storm is forecasted today over the Great Lakes. Blizzard conditions are anticipated from eastern Wisconsin and far northeastern Illinois to portions of Michigan, northern Indiana, northern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and western New York. The storm will also usher in fridge temperatures for the easter half of the US, making this Christmas weekend the coldest in four decades.
FlightAware's Misery Map shows the storm impacting major airports.
Even though the storm has passed the central part of the US, an arctic blast lingers and is pushing eastward today.
Here is the current 24-hour change in wind chill, I don't think I've ever seen a -60° on this map let alone several of them pic.twitter.com/2Ikk9xQo2L— Maxar | WeatherDesk (@Maxar_Weather) December 23, 2022
By Christmas, average temperatures across the Lower 48 will begin to rebound from 25 degrees Fahrenheit (well below a 30-year trend) to nearly 50 degrees by Jan. 1.
Rebound in temperatures next week is why natural gas prices are sinking lower. Now we wait for the next cold blast.