Winter storm sweeps across East Coast, canceling flights as 60% of U.S. under weather advisories

The reported 3,100 flights canceled by Friday morning exceeded the 2,681 flights canceled all of Thursday.
O'Hare Airport, Chicago, Dec. 22, 2022
O'Hare Airport, Chicago, Dec. 22, 2022

The powerful winter storm that is sweeping across the central U.S. and into the East Coast continues to spawn dangerous and worrisome conditions for Americans during the holiday season, with over 3,000 flights canceled Friday and hundreds of thousands without power.

Around 200 million people in the United States have been exposed to either a winter weather advisory or warning, the National Weather Service said.

More than 5,000 Friday flights have already been canceled as of 5:20 p.m. ET according to FlightAware. 2,700 flights were cancelled on Thursday, along with thousands of delays.

The storm that has brought heavy snow to the Midwest and record-low temperatures to many parts of the country – from as far south as Georgia and north to Connecticut – has also resulted in over 650,000 power outages across the country, according to the website PowerOutage.US.

At least six states have declared a state of emergency amid blizzard conditions and sub-freezing temperatures. 

Flights has been cancelled from Seattle to New York City, amid an already busier-than-usual holiday travel season – being attributed in large part to many of the pandemic restrictions from the two previous holiday seasons having been lifted.  

Scott Keyes of Scott's Cheap Flights told CNN that switching flights from canceled ones is especially difficult this holiday season because the amount of them is down by roughly 15 or 20% compared to pre-pandemic, which means jets are more full and fewer open seats are available.