A “bomb cyclone” over the U.S. is expected to hit its peak Friday, grounding more than 5,000 flights nationwide.
Major airlines were already bracing for the coldest Christmas in four decades as Winter Storm Elliot rolled eastwards from the Pacific Northwest. All Chicago and Denver airports were the first to cancel a slew of flights as residents were told to stay inside to avoid the deadly conditions.
Temperatures dropped more than 50F in some areas from Thursday to Friday night, with meteorologists like Fox News’ Britta Merwin warning that the worst is still ahead. More than 5,000 flights have been grounded across the country, with many states issuing a state of emergency
9:10 PM EST 12/22/2022: Widespread NWS Watches, Warnings, and Advisories for hazardous weather with impacted population data. For more information on any specific location, check https://t.co/VyWINDBEpn pic.twitter.com/xRfmzspjYK
— National Weather Service (@NWS) December 23, 2022
Blizzard conditions have already hit parts of the U.S., with temperatures in parts of Wisconsin having “feels like” conditions of -39F. Widespread and potentially damaging winds and whiteout conditions have made travel almost impossible. Life-threatening cold temperatures are expected through Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. (RELATED: Residents Of Chicago Told To Stay Inside Over Holiday Weekend)
Hundreds of thousands of homes have already lost power. Under current conditions even more outages are expected as the weekend progresses, according to the New York Post.
This is the second “bomb cyclone” to hit the U.S. this year, closing out the year as it started in January. During the first storm, temperatures only dropped some 10-20F below normal.