Freezing temperatures and heavy snow in the Northeast section of the nation are to blame for the cancellation and delay of more than 5,000 flights.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the eastern New York and western New England areas, home to the world's busiest airspace. As of Thursday morning, more than 1,800 flights had been canceled and 3,400 delayed, primarily in Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Cleveland and Nantucket island in Massachusetts, according to the flight tracking website Flightstats.com.
Don't expect much relief until Friday.
A storm that was draped over the mid-Atlantic to the lower Mississippi Valley is expected to merge with a storm from the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service. As a result, parts of southern New England and eastern New York could get heavy snow with blustery winds until the system pulls away early Friday, the weather service said.
The airspace over the New York and Philadelphia regions is the busiest and most complex airspace in the world, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Delays and cancellations of flights going in and out of this region typically reverberate throughout the nation's flight system.
“Major storms, like the one we are currently experiencing, affect travelers all across the country, regardless of where they are located," said Mike Benjamin, chief executive of the flight tracking site FlightView.com. "Even if the storm is isolated to a particular region, delays and cancellations tend to ripple from airport to airport since planes often fly multiple flight legs in one day. ”
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