Airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights in the Midwest on Wednesday as a blast of what federal forecasters called "dangerous" cold snarled operations.
Temperatures will remain well below zero degrees Fahrenheit in the Chicago area on Wednesday and early Thursday with "dangerously cold wind chills" of as low as minus 50 that can cause frostbite to exposed skin within five minutes, the National Weather Service said.
Airlines canceled more than 1,450 flights in and out of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport scheduled for Wednesday, more than half of the day's schedule at the American Airlines and United Airlines hub, according to flight-tracking site Flightaware.com. More than 330 flights were canceled at nearby Chicago Midway Airport, about two-thirds of its schedule.
American said "extreme temperatures" and a winter storm that hit the Northeast on Tuesday evening, prompted it to cancel 675 Wednesday flights, including 270 departures from O'Hare.