Airports in the Midwest are canceling flights ahead of a major winter storm set to hit the country’s midsection Sunday and Monday.
Nearly 2,000 U.S. flights have been canceled so far, according to Flightaware.com, an online flight tracking service.
Many of those flights are into or out of Chicago.
A blizzard warning is in effect for the Chicago metro area. Snow accumulations could reach 18 inches in some areas and winds could gust up to 35 mph during the day Sunday.
“This potent Midwest snowstorm has the potential to drop over a foot of snow in the Chicago region today and into Monday morning,” said CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam. “The storm will pivot over the Windy City, causing several hours of heavy snow.”
Up to a foot of snow is also forecast in parts of Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Multiple winter storm warnings are already in place from eastern Nebraska and South Dakota, through the Plains states and up the Northeastern Seaboard into New Hampshire and Maine.
“Chicago isn’t the only area of concern going forward,” Van Dam added. “This storm has its eyes set on the Northeast, where last week’s blizzard has already crippled many New England cities.”
Below is the statement from the National Weather Service:
***Strong storm system moving across the central and eastern U.S.***
***Widespread snow from the Ohio Valley to New England***
The main weather story across the continental U.S. will be a strengthening
surface low pressure system tracking from the central Plains to New
England over the next couple of days. This will be a potent winter storm
from the Midwest to the Northeast U.S., including the northern Ohio
Valley, lower Great Lakes, and north of the Mason-Dixon line in the
Mid-Atlantic region. Numerous winter storm warnings are in effect from
eastern Nebraska to the greater Boston area, where snowfall amounts on the
order of 6 to 12 inches can be expected, with locally higher amounts.
To the south of the surface low track, widespread rainy weather is
expected along and ahead of the trailing cold front across much of the
Deep South, Tennessee Valley, and into the Carolinas and Virginia. A few
thunderstorms will also be possible near the Gulf Coast.
Elsewhere across the continental U.S., expect dry conditions to continue
for most of California through Monday. Rain and snow chances increase for
the Pacific Northwest by Sunday as a weak cold front approaches the coast.
Most of the northern U.S. will continue to have below-average
temperatures for this weekend.