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A severe winter storm has led to significant flight disruptions at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center announced that due to adverse weather conditions, a Traffic Management Program has been implemented, resulting in average delays of two hours for arriving flights.


In a forecast discussion on Friday, the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Weather Prediction Center warned of heavy snow and blizzard conditions expected to hit the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. The forecast predicts over a foot of snowfall in parts of Wisconsin and Michigan through Saturday night, accompanied by strong winds reaching 40 to 50 mph, creating blizzard conditions and severely hampering travel.

The NWS said the likelihood of widespread snowfall ranges from 6-12 inches across a broad area from eastern Nebraska to central Michigan, with northern Lower Michigan potentially receiving over a foot of snow. FlightAware, a flight-tracking website, recorded over 2,000 flight delays and more than 1,700 cancellations within, into, or out of the US on Friday due to the storm.

In addition to the Chicago area, NWS forecasted severe weather conditions for the Deep South and Southeast regions into late Friday, including potential tornadoes and damaging wind gusts. Despite concerns over heavy rainfall, the NWS noted that the overall rainfall from this event is expected to be less severe than earlier this week on the East Coast due to the faster movement of the moisture plume and lighter rainfall rates.


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