A winter storm that meteorologists have termed a “bomb cyclone” continued to wreak havoc throughout the country early Friday, creating more flight cancellations in what officials anticipate will be another brutal day of holiday travel.
Forecasters have called the winter waxing a “once in a generation” storm, and it continued to serve up frigid life-threatening temperatures through the Midwest and Northeast. The National Weather Service said Friday that more than 200 million people nationwide — roughly 60% of the U.S. population — were under some sort of winter weather warning or advisory.
People trying to get home for the Christmas holiday continue to be battered, as well. As of 7:30 a.m., 3,638 flights into, out of and within the United States had been cancelled, according the flight tracking sight flightaware.com. On Thursday, the total was 2,625.
All three major Bay Area airports were feeling the weather, too. San Francisco International Airport had cancelled 46 flights; Mineta San Jose International Airport listed 35 cancellations, and Oakland International Airport listed 34, according to flightaware.com.
Much of the travel meltdown has been caused by storms in Chicago and Denver. Both endured white-out conditions Thursday, according to the NWS. Snow was not expected to fall Friday in Chicago, where temperatures were set to max at 3 degrees. In Denver, where temperatures fell 37 degrees in one hour on Thursday, the thermometer was expected to get up to 19 degrees Friday after an early morning windchill of -45.
In the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Horizon Airlines cancelled all flights at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport before noon, because conditions forced them to close the runways.
Locally, the weather is mild. The weather service reported that parts of the North Bay near Cloverdale received light showers Thursday night but not enough to be measured. Temperatures in the South Bay were expected to climb into the 60s today, while the hottest areas of Alameda and Contra Costa counties won’t get there until Saturday.
A storm is migrating toward the Bay Area from the Pacific Northwest, according to the weather service. Weather forecasters anticipate that system arriving late Monday or sometime Tuesday and said it could dump at least one to two inches throughout the region, and possibly as much as three to four inches in the coastal mountains.
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