Thousands of flights canceled by winter storm

Posted at 11:05 AM, Jan 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-19 11:05:35-05

CHICAGO (CNN) — A fast-moving winter storm unloaded a messy mix of heavy snow, strong winds and frigid temperatures across parts of the Midwest and Northeast over the weekend while canceling thousands of air flights.

More than 100 million people are under some form of winter storm watch, warning or advisory from Missouri to Maine.

Snow was piling up Saturday in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland. Chicago could see 9 inches of snow, the National Weather Service said.

Indianapolis is getting a messy mix of rain, snow and freezing rain Saturday, but it’s expected to turn into snow.

Cities on the storm’s southern edge such as Houston, Memphis, Tennessee, and Jackson, Mississippi, woke up to thunder and lightning Saturday.

As the storm quickly pushes east, forecasters expect a substantial amount of precipitation Saturday evening through Sunday up and down the East Coast.

A mix of snow and sleet begins Saturday afternoon in New York and Philadelphia but shifts to rain overnight. Boston will start with snow in the afternoon, followed by snow, ice and rain overnight through Sunday.

Inland areas of the Northeast and New England will likely see the most accumulation, with up to 2 feet of snow possible.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a ban on tractor-trailers and buses on most highways in the state will start at 3 p.m. ET Saturday. Amtrak said it will operate a modified service Saturday and Sunday due to the weather.

Travel will be affected through Sunday, with more than 2,000 flights involving domestic airports canceled, according to the flight-tracking site Airlines are issuing waivers for travelers in the Midwest and Northeast.

Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska, closed for several hours Friday after a Southwest Airlines flight went off a runway while taxiing. The plane slid onto a runway overrun area, Southwest said.

None of the 150 passengers and six crew members was injured, it said.