A major winter storm is hitting the West, but so far, the weather outside isn’t so frightful that it will ruin your holiday plans.
By Friday afternoon, more than 1,350 flights were delayed across the United States, according to the FlightAware flight tracking website. But that’s only about 6% of the flights arriving at or departing from US airports.
“This is a pretty normal winter day. … Said another way, 94% of flights are on time,” FlightAware CEO Daniel Baker said.
Still, experts say travelers should brace themselves and prepare for holiday travel hiccups.
A record high number of Americans — more than 100 million — are expected to travel between now and January 2, according to AAA.
And if you’re in the West on Friday, there’s a good chance snow and ice will be part of your journey.
A major winter storm is bringing heavy rain along the coast and widespread, heavy snow in the Rockies.
More than a dozen states are under some sort of winter watch, warning or advisory. And some parts of the country could see more than a foot of snow fall in the next 48 hours.
Flight delays and cancellations
According to FlightAware, 472 flights have been canceled so far Friday, and more than 120 of them are within, into or out of the United States.
Beyond the normal holiday rush, delays are expected in Chicago and Minneapolis because of snow and low clouds.
In Los Angeles, expect major delays due to rain and low clouds, not to mention runway construction.
New Jersey’s Newark Airport experienced delays after their AirTrain system stopped running, but it has since resumed service and is even being supplemented with bus service.
San Francisco, Seattle and Houston could see flight delays because of low clouds.
Dreaming of a white Christmas?
Holding out hope for a snowy holiday once you make it to your destination?
If history is any indication, some parts of the country have a good chance.
Some people may even see a whiteout Christmas this year.
A blizzard is forecast for North and South Dakota.