At least 386 flights in the U.S. have been cancelled due to cold-weather conditions on Wednesday, according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware. The storm currently moving up the East Coast is expected to dump up to a foot of snow on the mid-Atlantic region on Wednesday, snarling flights on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
Of the cancelled flights, at least 180 were expected to either originate or pass through airports in New York City. Thousands of flight delays are also expected as snow begins moving into the area later Wednesday afternoon, according to CNN.
Though the National Weather Service has cut snow forecasts for the major Northeastern cities to just a few inches, the storm is still expected to cause major delays across the country, reported Bloomberg. "The storm will have a major impact nationwide to air travel, as the ripple effect from delays and cancellations in the Northeast hubs impacts the rest of the country," said CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen. This ripple effect could impact the travel plans of about 30 million people, according to CNN.
At least 214 flights were already canceled by Tuesday night before the storm had even hit. The decision to preemptively cancel flights ahead of expected storms is one that U.S. carriers have increasingly opted for in recent years, according to USA Today. Nearly half of the Wednesday cancellations came from New York LaGuardia and Newark Liberty, two New York metro-area airports that are already delay-prone.
With an estimated 46 million Americans expected to take to the roads for their Thanksgiving travel, according to the American Automobile Association, drivers are also likely to run into travel complications. Serious delays have already been reported in Virginia, where an accident on the I-81 closed off a lane of traffic, according to Weather.com.