Storm Brings Dangerous Conditions,Thousands of Cancellations and Delays for Start of Week
The brutally cold weather follows this year’s second winter storm, which brought another layer of snow to the Midwest.
A Delta Air Lines plane that originated in Toronto slid off the runway and into a snow bank at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport early Sunday morning.
Over 2,500 flights have already been cancelled for Sunday, according to FlightStats, a service that tracks airline and airport information. Over 1,300 flights have been cancelled in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, where it was snowing and the temperature was recorded at 15.8° F (-9° C) shortly before noon.
Chicago O’Hare has already seen 400 cancellations for Monday.
The frigid air is being caused by a polar vortex, a counterclockwise-rotating pool of cold dense air that is impacting the U.S. as far south as the Gulf Coast. Officials are warning people to wear appropriate clothing, including facemasks and gloves, as temperatures are expected to be extremely cold. Forecasters are predicting -25° F (-31° C) in Fargo, N.D., -31° F (-35° C) in International Falls, Minnesota, and -15° F (-26° C) in Chicago. The wind chill temperature may reach as much as -70° F (-56° C) in some areas.
At these temperatures, exposed skin can get frostbitten in a matter of minutes, and hypothermia can quickly set in.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)