Travelers trying to get home from Thanksgiving are in for a rough time on Sunday, as Winter Storm Bruce has grounded hundreds of flights.
One of the busiest travel days of the year in the United States was beset by even more complications as the Midwest dealt with a major snowstorm. According to a report by USA Today, much of the Great Plains and mid-western region is coated in snow, ice and rain, with blizzard conditions possible in some places.
This has reportedly led to at least 655 canceled flights as of Sunday afternoon, with more possible. In addition, 2,350 flights have been delayed, and even warm airports are filling with restless holiday travelers.
The worst of Winter Storm Bruce will reportedly impact parts of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin. There, actual blizzard conditions are not unlikely on Sunday. It is also there that many of the flights are canceled.
Planes were grounded at the airports in Kansas City, Missouri; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Omaha, Nebraska, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Of course, the biggest jam up hit the Midwest's largest airport — Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Accounting for both arrivals and departures, O'Hare has seen 325 cancellations on Sunday at the time of this writing.
Luckily, about 100 of O'Hare's cancellations were made pre-emptively on Saturday night, giving travelers some time to consider other options and stay away from the crowded airports. Still, those options could be limited as the storm shows no signs of breaking up. American Airlines issued a statement on Sunday afternoon, warning that more delays and cancellations were likely this evening.
"Due to the forecasted wind and snow, the FAA is expected to issue a Ground Delay Program, which will reduce the number of arrivals and departures each hour for all carriers," it read.
The latest updates from the National Weather Service show blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories painted broadly across the midwest. The blizzard warnings cover the north-eastern quarter of Kansas and part of Nebraska, as well as Iowa, Missouri and nearly half of Illinois. The worst of the snow will likely be confined there.
Dangerous travel conditions will continue today with the significant winter storm in the Midwest. Embedded snowfall totals to around a foot are likely, and the chances have continued to increase from previous forecasts, particularly in southeast Iowa and northern Illinois. pic.twitter.com/hZpUUwLxh8— NWS WPC (@NWSWPC) November 25, 2018
Bruce is expected to leave at least 8 inches of snow behind when all is said and done. The blizzard warnings remain in effect until midnight, local time, and it will likely be a slow start to the week in parts of the midwest.