DALLAS — Freezing rain and drizzle are disrupting travel from central Texas to the Great Lakes, with icy roads leading to hundreds of traffic accidents.
Hundreds of flights were canceled Wednesday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas braced for an ice storm.
More than half an inch of ice could accumulate in parts of the Ozarks through Friday morning, while another area of freezing rain is expected to hit south-central Pennsylvania and western Maryland, a announced the National Weather Service.
In Arkansas, dozens of schools were closed or switched to remote learning on Thursday as another round of freezing rain was expected by noon.
Airlines had canceled more than 2,000 Thursday night flights as of Wednesday night, according to tracking site FlightAware.com. About half of them were at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, where temperatures were only expected to rise above freezing briefly late Thursday afternoon.
DFW airport is the largest in the American Airlines network, and American had canceled 21% of its Thursday Wednesday night flights, according to FlightAware.
Meanwhile, heavy snowfall was expected in upstate New York and New England later this week, with more than 6 inches possible through Saturday morning.
Winter took a fleeting break in the northeast on Wednesday, with temperatures reaching the 60s before plunging within hours.
The heat wave sent people outside, but it was bad news for ski areas and other winter sports.
“It’s not exactly what you want to see in the middle of the busiest week of the year,” said Ethan Austin, spokesman for Sugarloaf Ski Area in Maine, which was busy due to the school holiday week. But he was happy to hear that snow was on its way.
The weather whiplash marked the second time in less than a week that there was expected to be a temperature swing of more than 40 degrees in 24 hours.