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The airports with most flight cancellations and delays over the winter storm

More than 2,300 U.S. flights for Saturday were canceled by the afternoon, with more than 5,500 delayed

A pair of travelers sleep while passengers below wait to pass through the south security checkpoint in Denver International Airport on Friday. A winter storm swept over the country, packing snow combined with Arctic cold, which created chaos for people trying to reach their destinations before the Christmas holiday. Forecasters predict that warmer weather will be on tap for the week ahead. (David Zalubowski/AP)
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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.

The “once in a generation” winter storm had knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of Americans, with winds blowing at 40 mph in some parts of the country and a “bomb cyclone” generating abysmal conditions for air travel in major cities across the Lower 48.

Your guide to traveling in the storm, from canceled flights to driving

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.

When will weather and travel conditions finally improve?

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.

How the size and depth of the Great Lakes affect how much snow falls

A massive winter storm system moving through the U.S. on Dec. 23 brought high winds and heavy snow to the Buffalo region. (Video: John Farrell/The Washington Post)

Scientists say Arctic warming could be to blame for blasts of extreme cold

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

How to stay warm and safe in a winter power outage

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)

Around 2 p.m., BOS had delayed 24 percent of departures and 28 percent of arrivals.

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.