More than 4,000 US flights scheduled this weekend were cancelled as millions of Americans on the east coast brace for a powerful winter storm with heavy snow and hurricane-like winds in the forecast.
Airlines cancelled more than 1,200 flights scheduled for Friday within, into or out of the US and delayed more than 3,200 others as of 4pm EST on Friday, according to flight tracker FlightAware.
Nearly 3,000 Saturday flights within, into or out of the country were cancelled.
More than 90 per cent of all Saturday flights out of New York City’s LaGuardia Airport and Boston Logan International Airport are cancelled, along with 84 per cent of flights out of New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International and 65 per cent of New York’s John K Kennedy International Airport.
According to FlightAware, half of all JetBlue flights in the US on Saturday are cancelled.
Boston’s Logan airport – a hub for Delta and JetBlue airlines – has more than 300 cancellations on Saturday, while JFK – another JetBlue hub – has 364.
American, Delta, JetBlue and United airlines will allow impacted passengers to rebook without change fees.
Boston's Logan airport, which is a hub city for JetBlue and Delta Air Lines (DAL), has 300 cancellations. For Saturday, JetBlue (JBLU) has axed 50 per cent of its schedule. About 17 per cent of American's schedule and 18 per cent of United's (UAL) schedule for Saturday has also been canceled.
The nor’easter is expected to develop off the coast of the Carolinas on Friday night and rapidly build strength as it traces along the east coast overnight into Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Blizzard warnings are in effect this evening through Saturday night, covering millions of residents along coastal areas of New England.
Winter storm watches, affecting more than 45 million people, extend from North Carolina to eastern Maine. Watches were upgraded to warnings along coastal New Jersey and Maryland.
Conditions in the northeastern US are expected to peak on Saturday morning into the afternoon.
A so-called “bomb cyclone” is caused by rapid drop in air pressure, and often occurs close to the ocean because it requires warm moist air colliding with cold, dry air, along with volatile weather from the jet stream.
The climate changed-fuelled phenomenon – called bombogenesis – is the result of a cold front from Canada colliding with a warming Atlantic Ocean. The world’s oceans absorb a vast majority of the heat that from greenhouse gases, accelerating chaotic weather events.
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