Storm halts flights in Chicago; 2K-plus flights delayed across US

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A deadly winter storm has halted flights in the major travel hub of Chicago, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center.

The command center said that due to weather, “there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving” at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. It said the program “is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of” two hours.

The National Weather Service’s (NWS) Weather Prediction Center said in a Friday forecast discussion that a major winter storm will “bring heavy snow and blizzard conditions to the Midwest/Great Lakes.”

“Through Saturday night, over a foot of snowfall is likely across portions of Wisconsin and Michigan, which will combine with gusty winds upwards of 40 to 50 mph to produce blizzard conditions and near impossible travel,” the forecast discussion said.

The NWS said Thursday that a region stretching from eastern Nebraska to central Michigan could experience “widespread 6-12 inch snowfall totals within this corridor of the Midwest, with potentially over a foot of snow across northern Lower Michigan.”

According to the flight-tracking website FlightAware, more than 2,000 flights “within, into, or out of” the U.S. have been delayed Friday. More than 1,700 flights have been canceled, per FlightAware.

The NWS also said yesterday that “severe weather” could also occur in the Deep South and Southeast into late Friday.

“This also includes the threat of tornadoes along with the main threat of damaging wind gusts,” according to the forecast.

“In terms of heavy rainfall potential, it appears the overall rainfall from this event will be generally less than what occurred earlier this week for most areas across the East Coast owing to the faster progression of the moisture plume and lighter rainfall rates.”

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