Update: December 23, 2022 at 12:50 p.m. ET
Airlines canceled over 4,100 U.S. flights on Friday as the massive winter storm impacting much of the United States snarled airport operations and frustrated thousands of holiday travelers, according to FlightAware.com.
Another 4,652 flights have been delayed, with the most impacted airports located in Seattle, Chicago, New York City, Detroit, Denver, Toronto, Portland, Vancouver, Washington D.C. and Cleveland.
“Big hubs were affected — Chicago, Detroit — it wasn’t the snow, it was the heavy rain and gusty winds,” @accuweather Chief Meteorologist @RealJonPorter says on winter weather impacting Christmas travel and causing power outages. pic.twitter.com/pDdFerBQYc
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) December 23, 2022
According to Weather.com, Winter Storm Elliott has intensified into a bomb cyclone near the Great Lakes, bringing high winds, snow and blizzard conditions with it. Snow is being reported from the Great Lakes to the Appalachians and parts of northern New England.
Rain is also soaking much of the rest of the Northeast ahead of the fast-moving arctic cold front.
Massive problems across the eastern half of the country as the #snow continues to fall and the #wind continues to howl.
Hundreds of thousands of people are out of power as frigid arctic air is flying into the US. Make sure you know where your closest shelter is! @accuweather pic.twitter.com/vaz1oDqTwB
— Kristina Shalhoup (@shalhoupwx) December 23, 2022
Update: December 23, 2022 at 9:25 a.m. ET
As travelers prepare for the holidays, Winter Storm Elliott is intensifying into a likely bomb cyclone near the Great Lakes. The system is bringing high winds, snow and blizzard conditions to place from the Northern Plains to New York.
Impacted areas are also bringing significant Great Lakes lakeshore flooding, coastal flooding to parts of the Northeast seaboard and dangerous travel impacts from a flash freeze to parts of the South and East.
Dangerous cold temperatures & winds will continue to affect and spread eastward through the day from the Rockies, the south, Midwest, Great Lakes & advancing across the eastern seaboard. This graphic is the forecast apparent temperature at 1 PM EST today. https://t.co/VyWINDk3xP pic.twitter.com/trOqw6c6Lt
— National Weather Service (@NWS) December 23, 2022
According to FlightAware.com, there were 3,415 flight cancellations within, into or out of the United States on Friday so far, with over 1,700 additional delays. For Saturday, almost 200 additional flights have already been preemptively canceled due to the storms.
On Thursday, a total of 2,685 flights in the U.S. were canceled and another 11,160 were delayed.
Traffic Report: The #WinterStorm brings hazardous ground conditions & flight cancellations across the country. Snow & high winds from @LGAairport, @JFKairport, @EWRairport to @flySEA. High snow forecast at @fly2midway, @fly2ohare, @DTWeetin, @mspairport. https://t.co/teUeDe1gXx pic.twitter.com/1w0fKD80sF
— The FAA (@FAANews) December 23, 2022
The Severe winter weather has also caused Amtrak to make several service changes and cancelations in the Midwest and Northeast through December 25. These actions are taken with an abundance of caution and consultation with state transportation departments, host railroads, emergency managers and weather forecasters.
Travelers with reservations on trains that are being modified will typically be accommodated on trains with similar departure times or another day.
Update: December 22, 2022 at 1:10 p.m. ET
United States President Joe Biden said the country faces “dangerous and threatening” storms ahead of the winter holiday travel period and warned that Americans hitting the road should do so immediately.
“It’s dangerous and threatening, it’s really very serious weather and it goes from Oklahoma all the way to Wyoming and Maine,” Biden said Thursday. “So, I encourage everyone to please heed local warnings.”
Five states are under a state of emergency due to “really dangerous” conditions that are wreaking havoc on holiday travel as extremely low temps add to the dangers.
Winter storm LIVE blog: https://t.co/kTfFjgdu6D pic.twitter.com/oKXMapwrrw
— AccuWeather (@accuweather) December 22, 2022
“If you all have travel plans, leave now, not a joke,” Biden continued. “I’m sending my staff. If they have plans to leave tomorrow, I’m telling them leave now.”
White House officials said the administration has already spoken to 26 state governors in impacted regions and will be briefed by FEMA and the National Weather Service.
Update: December 22, 2022 at 8:25 a.m. ET
As the Pacific Northwest continues to deal with the impact of Winter Storm Elliott, the storm continues to spread heavy snowfall, freezing rain and bone-chilling winds across the Midwest in what is likely to become a blizzard.
As the storm strengthens into a powerful #blizzard over the Midwest from Thursday to Friday, travel is likely to grind to a halt as dangerous and life-threatening conditions unfold from the storm’s high winds, snow and plunging temperatures. https://t.co/J7IxKZstLi
— AccuWeather (@accuweather) December 22, 2022
In addition to the storm conditions, a blast of Arctic air is forecast to plunge much of the country into bitter and dangerous cold temperatures. To combat the storm, airports and airlines have canceled and delayed flights.
According to FlightAware.com, there were 1,234 flight cancellations within, into or out of the United States on Thursday so far, with nearly 1,000 additional delays. For Friday, another 700-plus flights have already been preemptively canceled due to the storms.
Airports in Detroit, New York City, Chicago, Vancouver and Denver have been the most impacted so far.
Winter Storm #Elliott will bring heavy snow and rain, dangerous winds, and frigid temperatures to many this week!
Power outages are definitely possible, so get a plan in place NOW. We’re LIVE timing it all out. pic.twitter.com/kcKBBjyvwq
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) December 20, 2022
As travelers prepare to visit family and friends during the holiday travel period, Winter Storm Elliott is forecast to impact flight service and roads throughout the United States.
Add in another storm impacting travel in the Pacific Northwest, and this holiday is shaping up to be one filled with delays and cancellations during one of the year’s busiest periods.
Winter storm watches and warnings issued across central US as millions brace for blizzard conditions.
Latest forecast details: https://t.co/Mpk8MTmCSm
— AccuWeather (@accuweather) December 21, 2022
AccuWeather meteorologists warn that icy conditions could throw a wrench into holiday travel plans as roads could become treacherous in portions of the Interstate 5 corridor. https://t.co/1IGlYqFae8
— AccuWeather (@accuweather) December 21, 2022
The winter storm is tracking eastward toward the Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes, where it will produce snow and high winds, including blizzard conditions, as it potentially grows into a bomb cyclone. Elliott will also bring strong winds and a possible flash freeze to parts of the Midwest, East and South.
Data from AAA Travel predicted that 112.7 million people would journey 50 miles or more away from home from December 23 to January 2, an increase of 3.6 million people compared to last year. The survey also found that 102 million Americans will drive to their destinations, an increase of over two million people on the roads.
Air travel will see a 14 percent increase over last year, with nearly 7.2 million Americans expected to fly during the winter holiday travel period. AAA expects the number of people taking flights this year will almost match 2019 totals, when 7.3 million Americans traveled by air.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the Thursday before Christmas is expected to be the busiest travel day of the week, with 47,554 scheduled flights. Friday has more than 44,300 flights scheduled.
In anticipation of the storm, many airlines have started issuing travel waivers, allowing passengers to reschedule their flights without change fees. AccuWeather experts believe as many as 5,000 flights could be delayed or canceled.
Major carriers in the U.S.—including American, Delta, Southwest and United—have issued travel advisories in the Pacific Northwest, Northwest Mountain, Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest and Central Plains regions.
With extreme weather predicted, we encourage customers to use the United app to check flight statuses or change itineraries with no change fees. Our team is monitoring the forecast and will proactively adjust schedules to minimize delays and get you to your destinations safely.
— United Airlines (@united) December 20, 2022
Several major cities are being impacted by the storm waivers, including Baltimore, Boise, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, Washington D.C. and more.
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