Airlines cancel local flights for bitter cold temps

Dozens of local flights have been canceled as bitter cold temperatures freeze over the Midwest.

At Chicago O’Hare International Airport, more than 1,175 cancellations were reported as Wednesday morning. At Midway Airport, 326 cancellations were reported. Chicago has been under a a Wind Chill Warning since Tuesday evening, with record-breaking low temperatures.

Nine flights from Dayton International Airport to Chicago have been canceled today. Eight flights from Chicago to the Dayton airport have also been cancelled. One Dayton flight to Washington, D.C., also is delayed.

Cincinnati and Columbus airports have also seen cancellations and delays due to the cold weather. Approximately 15 flights from Cincinnati to Chicago have been canceled today, and one flight has been diverted. John Glenn Columbus International Airport canceled 10 flights to Chicago today, and one flight to St. Louis.

While aircraft can sustain and operate functionally at temperatures around -70 degrees Fahrenheit at an altitude of nearly 40,000 feet, cold weather on the ground can cause different issues. "Wings, for instance, are very specific shapes — and even a little bit of frost can decrease the efficiency of the wing, leading to longer takeoff rolls and a higher stall speed," Seth Laskin, a former aircraft deicer at Philadelphia International Airport, told Travel + Leisure.

In Dayton, wind gusts throughout day will range from 25 to 35 mph, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

Wind Chill Warning is in effect:

  • through 1 p.m. Thursday for Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Randolph (Indiana), Preble, Shelby and Wayne (Indiana) counties
  • from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday for Butler, Clinton and Warren counties.

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