A potentially historic snow storm is expected to hit the northeastern U.S. and Canada on Friday. In anticipation of this major storm, thousands of flights have been cancelled by airlines.
As the Northeastern U.S. and parts of Canada prepare for projected heavy snow accumulations on Friday, airlines have preemptively cancelled flights for Friday and, to a lesser degree, on Saturday, reported Reuters. This could change depending on the direction the storm takes.
USA Today reported Mark Duell, vice president-operations at FlightAware, says in a Thursday (Feb. 7) e-mail to Today in the Sky, "We're seeing the airlines start their pre-emptive storm related cancellations this afternoon."
The snow storm is expected to possibly be a record breaker, according to the U.S. National Weather Service, predicting one to two feet of snow from the New York City metro area to Maine with the most intense weather possibly hitting the Boston area. Canada's Weatheroffice is also projecting heavy snow for some regions, and has placed a winter storm warning into effect for Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec.
Significant wind gusts are also predicted; some of the affected regions may see gusts as high as 60-75 mph, and communities along the coastlines may experience flooding.
"This one doesn't come along every day. This is going to be a dangerous winter storm," said Alan Dunham, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass, reported
Politico (via Associated Press). "Wherever you need to get to, get there by Friday afternoon and don't plan on leaving."
At time of report, FlightStats.com has reported 2,853 flights are cancelled and an additional 436 are delayed.
In addition to flights, Amtrak is also planning on shutting down some services by Friday afternoon. Officials in many communities are encouraging motorists to stay home, and saying those going to work today should plan to leave early.
The "most intense" part of the storm is expected to arrive on Friday night into Saturday, reported NBC News.