Dense fog caused more than 200 flights to be canceled at O'Hare and Midway airports this morning on one of the busier travel days of the year.
As of 11:45 a.m., 174 flights had been canceled at O'Hare International Airport and 32 at Midway Airport, according to flightstats.com, which draws on data from airports and the Federal Aviation Administration. More than 500 flights experienced delays at O'Hare and more than 200 at Midway.
“Both (airports) are reporting visibility near zero,” Gino Izzi, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said at 6 a.m. today. “It’s going to be an absolutely awful morning, and will probably go into the afternoon at most airports.”
Lines were slow but moving at O'Hare this morning.
“Right now it’s OK, right now it’s not too crowded, but I bet later on this afternoon or whatever it will be a lot more crowded,” said Casey Tristano, who was waiting for a flight out of O'Hare.
The Chicago Department of Aviation says it expects 1.8 million passengers to move through the two airports in the week between Nov. 20 and Nov. 27. Sunday is expected to be the busiest day, when O'Hare alone could see more than a quarter million travelers.
Chicago and state police were reporting no serious accidents this morning, though longer-than-usual delays were being reported on expressways.
“I think the fog is going to have some effect on either people's decisions on when they’re going to leave or certainly, if they're out, in getting to where they want to go today," said Beth Mosher, spokeswoman for the AAA Motor Club.
“You know here in Illinois, we’re going to see about 2 million people take to the roads and almost 40 million people take to the roads nationwide," she said. "Fog certainly is going to have an affect, and all those people on the roads at the same time, getting to where they want to go.”
A dense fog advisory is in effect for northern and central Illinois. The advisory is also in effect for most of Missouri and Wisconsin, as well as eastern Iowa and northwest Indiana.
“If it does improve, it probably won’t be fast,” Izzi said. “We’ll probably be sitting in the pea soup through most of the morning hours. It probably won’t be something where it’s going to be dense fog at 10 a.m. and sunny at 11 a.m.”
The fog is blanketing the area as temperatures headed toward 60 today. Izzi said temperatures on Thanksgiving should reach well into the 60s.
WGN-TV contributedCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times