More than 2,000 U.S. Flights Delayed; 1,500 Canceled

The number of delayed and canceled flights is piling up as a winter storm sweeps the U.S., bringing freezing temperatures to areas as south as Texas and Florida as the country braces for the pre-Christmas blizzard.

According to 11:00 a.m. Eastern data from FlightAware, 2,282 flights have been delayed within, into, or out of the U.S., Thursday specifically.

Further, the number of cancellations — mere days before Christmas — is piling up, reaching 1,561 for flights within, into, or out of the country at the time of this report.

According to reports, Southwest Airlines has the most delays of any airline, reporting more than 450 canceled flights. However, many airlines are issuing travel waivers to passengers affected by these changes.

The cancellations come as the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center warns of a “widespread and dangerous arctic blast,” predicting “widespread disruptive and potentially crippling impacts across the central and eastern United States” this week:

A major and anomalous storm system is forecast to produce a multitude of weather hazards through early this weekend, as heavy snowfall, strong winds, and dangerously cold temperatures span from the northern Great Basin through the Plains, Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and the northern/central Appalachians. At the forefront of the impressive weather pattern is a dangerous and record-breaking cold air mass in the wake of a strong arctic cold front diving southward across the southern Plains today and eastward into the Ohio/Tennessee Valleys by tonight. Behind the front, temperatures across the central High Plains have already plummeted 50 degrees F in just a few hours, with widespread subzero readings extending throughout much of the central/northern Plains and northern Rockies/Great Basin.

Those temperatures, combined with winds, are producing wind chills as low as -40 degrees, and some select areas could see wind chills as low as -70 degrees.

Denver, Colorado, is among the affected cities, seeing a significant decrease in temperature on Wednesday, dropping 37 degrees in the span of just one hour. In total, the city was expected to drop to -16 degrees, resulting in a total 68-degree decrease.



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