Across the country, travelers who may have already been bracing themselves for a typically hectic trip to the airport ahead of Christmas are entering the maw of a fierce winter storm that is disrupting thousands of flights for a holiday weekend.
According to the flight-tracking site FlightAware, over Thursday and Friday roughly 8,600 flights were canceled within, into or out of the United States, and more than 22,000 were delayed. As of 2 p.m. Saturday, there were more than 2,300 flight cancellations and over 5,500 delays in the U.S.
On Saturday afternoon, Buffalo Niagara International, South Bend International and Gerald R. Ford International (outside of Grand Rapids, Mich.) were the worst affected, canceling a respective 88 percent, 52 percent, and 48 percent of outgoing flights.
Here’s a look at cancellations and delays at some of America’s busiest airports, and what officials advise for travelers in different locations.
Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport
Freezing temperatures were expected to approach the record-low at BWI (20 degrees in 1892) on Saturday. Around 1 p.m. the airport had 101 flights delayed — marking 39 percent of its schedule — and another 10 percent canceled.
Record cold temperatures possible today. See image for more details. pic.twitter.com/3cuQ3NG8Wr— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) December 24, 2022
Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)
Weather in Western New York got worse in a hurry Friday, with winds capable of creating 20-foot waves on Lake Erie, according to the National Weather Service office for Buffalo. Blizzard condition worsened Saturday, when BUF had 44 outgoing flights canceled around 2 p.m., representing 88 percent of the day’s schedule.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Around 2 p.m. Saturday, O’Hare had 267 flights delayed, disrupting 29 percent of its schedule, and another 7 percent were canceled. During the same time at Midway, 40 percent of flights were delayed and 18 percent were canceled.
Our radar has been returned to service. We owe a HUGE thank you to Chris, a member of our ET staff, who braved the elements to fix a failed heater in the radome. Here’s a look at the conditions we experienced at our office for much of yesterday afternoon. #ILwx #INwx pic.twitter.com/OBor1BypGc— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) December 24, 2022
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Around 2 p.m. Saturday, ATL had 226 departures delayed, representing 28 percent of its schedule, and another 10 percent were canceled.
Historic cold 🤝 historic dryness.— NWS Atlanta (@NWSAtlanta) December 24, 2022
Aided by the dry, polar airmass that has spilled across CONUS, last night's 00Z sounding reported a dewpoint of -54C (-65F) at ~2km aloft, supporting PWATs of just 0.11" 😳 That's a new record for all 00Z soundings taken on 12/24! #gawx pic.twitter.com/9YPPKgSGqj
Dallas Love Field (DAL)
The Dallas area was expected to see better weather as the day went on Saturday, but around 2 p.m. DAL had delayed 35 percent of flights. Dallas-Fort Worth International had 159 flights delayed by around the same time, marking 22 percent of its schedule.
This morning will start cold and mostly cloudy. The clouds will give way to mostly sunny skies this afternoon with cool temperatures. Another below freezing night is forecast tonight before "warmer" weather returns on Christmas Day. Winds will be light all weekend. #txwx pic.twitter.com/rtzl8MHn2h— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) December 24, 2022
St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
The wind chill in St. Louis was expected drop as low as minus-15 degrees Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. By around 2 p.m., STL had 31 percent of its flights delayed, and another 13 percent were canceled.
Dry weather will continue through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Temperatures will slowly rise and the winds will decrease causing wind chills to rise back above zero. 🎄🎅 #stlwx #midmowx #ilwx #mowx pic.twitter.com/RoPMFhwdAt— NWS St. Louis (@NWSStLouis) December 24, 2022
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
CLE had 39 percent of outgoing flights canceled by around 2 p.m. Saturday, and another 17 percent were delayed.
Conditions aren't as brutal as Friday, but cold and wind continue today. Some light snow is occurring this morning with patchy blowing snow still an issue in open areas. We are watching lake effect potential along the eastern lakeshore tonight into Christmas Day. #OHwx #PAwx pic.twitter.com/nXG03FzMG2— NWS Cleveland (@NWSCLE) December 24, 2022
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
SeaTac had canceled 15 percent of its departures and 19 percent of its arrivals around 2 p.m. Saturday, when rainfall helped melt ice from a frigid Friday.
Moderate to heavy rain at times will persist throughout the day. Melting of residual ice may cause more standing water on roadways, so be sure to exercise caution while traveling. #wawx https://t.co/shCAwyB5eK— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) December 24, 2022
LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
LaGuardia had 18 percent of departures delayed by around 2 p.m. Saturday, when the wind chill was in sub-zero range.
This morning is starting in the single digits while this afternoon will only see teens for high temperatures. Gusty winds will make it feel much colder. Stay warm & merry today! #NYwxd #CTwx #NJwx pic.twitter.com/CfyY1rfNwz— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) December 24, 2022
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
Around 2 p.m., the Detroit airport had 22 percent of its scheduled departures canceled and another quarter of outgoing flights delayed.
The storm system now well northeast of the region is still driving gusty winds across Southeast Michigan. This combined with the arctic air will maintain dangerously cold wind chills and some blowing snow today. #miwx pic.twitter.com/uVLA8lYKT4— NWS Detroit (@NWSDetroit) December 24, 2022
Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
Around 2 p.m., BOS had delayed 24 percent of departures and 28 percent of arrivals.
Have bumped up snowfall totals due to ocean effect snow across the south coast. Winter Weather Advisory expanded to include Cape Cod. Exercise caution if traveling in these areas today & Christmas morning. Travel may be difficult. #mawx #riwx pic.twitter.com/u0t9obeBWh— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) December 24, 2022
Denver International Airport (DEN)
By 2 p.m. Saturday DEN had already delayed 201 flights, good for 25 percent of its schedule. A combined 186 incoming and outgoing flights were canceled as the weather improved from previous days when the high was below zero.
🌡️Yesterday, December 22, 2022 marked Denver's second coldest day on record.— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) December 23, 2022
The daily high was just -6°F, and the low was -24°F, giving us an average daily temperature of only -15°F! #COwx pic.twitter.com/BvCYv2OMuq
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