PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Winter weather in other parts of the country is impacting travel to and from the Valley just days before Christmas. As of 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, there were 49 flight delays and six canceled flights, most of which are departures, at Phoenix Sky Harbor ahead of the holiday weekend.
At the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, several flights have already been put on delay and a few others canceled. The cancellations come as a large portion of the U.S. braces for severe winter weather, bringing high winds, snow, and ice from the Midwestern plains up the northeastern coast. Some parts of Georgia and Florida may even dip into freezing, an uncommon phenomenon. CNN reports that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency due to the weather calling the temperatures “historically low temperatures” across the state, as weather experts anticipate near zero or negative digital windchills on Friday.
To check flight delays and cancellations at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, click here. To check status of flights at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, click here. CNN has reported this year’s winter weather as a “once in a generation” winter storm that has already put 90 million people under winter weather alerts and around 87 million people are under a wind chill alert that spreads across 37 states.
Many major metro areas will see a sharp decrease in temperature overnight, putting many in danger of losing water and electricity. For example, in Denver, the high on Wednesday will be around 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius); by Thursday, it is forecast to plummet to around zero (minus 18 Celsius). “I would not be surprised if there are lots of delays due to wind and also a lot of delays due to the snow,” said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland, told the Associated Press.
Travel experts predicted that this holiday season would see the biggest crowd of travelers since the COVID-19 pandemic. With more on the roads and in the air, National Weather Service officials are asking travelers to use extreme caution. AAA predicted that 2.1 million Arizonans will be traveling during the holiday season, with peak travel times happening on the Friday before Christmas and between Dec. 27 and Dec. 28. Drivers can plan for around 25% longer travel time, experts say. For tips on how to get the most out of your vehicle’s fuel efficiency while traveling this weekend, click here. To check on road status across Arizona, call 511 or download the AZ511 App.
Check out the upcoming forecast predictions for the U.S. below, courtesy of the First Alert Weather Team. A large winter storm can be seen spreading across the states and covering much of the Midwest to the eastern seaboard.
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