After harsh winter storms brought travel chaos to travelers over Thanksgiving and Christmas, you’d have been forgiven for thinking that the worst of the winter weather might be over. But sometimes it snows in February, and a whole heap of the white stuff is about to hit western states, bringing travel turmoil back to the U.S.
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm, blizzard, and high-wind warnings for areas across the western United States, NBC News reports that the foul weather has canceled more than 1,400 flights across the region. The site reports:
More than 1,400 flights within, to and out of the United States were canceled Wednesday as severe weather wreaked havoc with massive storms threatening to bring record snowfall across America.
Residents across the northern Plains will be hunkering down as the storm hits, with schools across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin announcing closures ahead of the severe weather system, which is expected to impact millions while California contends with strong winds and sweeping power outages.
As much as two feet of snow is forecast in some areas across the country, which is already leading airlines to cancel or delay flights. NBC News reports that 1,434 U.S. flight cancellations were recorded by 2 p.m. EST as a result of the severe weather.
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After leading the way with cancellations following travel chaos over the holidays, low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines is once again ahead in the cancellations game this time. Reuters reports that it has grounded 248 flights, followed by Delta Air Lines, which canceled 246 flights. Regional carrier SkyWest has also canceled 312 flights across the United States.
In terms of the airports hit hardest by the storm, NBC News reported that “at least 416” of the affected flights were out of Minneapolis−St. Paul International Airport. A further 243 were from Denver International Airport.
During the storms, snow is predicted across east-central Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin, with it falling heaviest on higher ground. High winds are also predicted, with weather warnings in place for gusts above 50 mph across much of the coast of California and Oregon.