Another massive Midwest snowstorm has caused flight cancellations and delays in the Twin Cities, as reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Monday, February 21, 2011.
Delta Air Lines (DL) scrubbed hundreds of flights at their Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) hubs, with disruptions reported at airports in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE) and at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) as well.
Melissa Scovronski, a spokesperson for MSP, reported that the airport was down to one working runway early Monday morning but expects to open a second soon because the worst of the storm has passed. Many flights have been delayed by more than one hour. About about 60 departures and 100 arrivals were canceled Monday morning.
A larger number of flights were cancelled on Sunday, causing many travelers to spend the night sleeping on foam mattresses which the airport provided. A record 6.8 inches of snow had fallen on Sunday, according to the Star-Tribune.
More than one foot of snow fell in the Twin Cities during the past two days. MSP reported 12.3 inches of snow, which was the fourth highest total in the region. Eden Prairie was tops at 17 inches with Bloomington a close second at 16 inches. Seasonal totals now stand at 73 inches. Only 1982, which had 76 inches, saw more snow as of February 20.
A total of 12-18 inches of snow are likely from this storm, less than the December 10-11, 2010 storm, which dumped 17.1″ on the Twin Cities. It is highly unusual for the Twin Cities to encounter two Winter storms each in excess of fifteen inches. A few southern suburbs may wind up with 16-18″ snow before the flakes subside later on Monday, with sub-freezing temperatures in effect.
As reported by National Public Radio, Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Gutknect noted that at least Monday’s light holiday traffic would make more room for snow plows. Blowing snow was expected to make clearing the roads difficult. Said Mr. Gutknect, “If people don’t need to travel, they shouldn’t. It’s really hard for people to see.”
The situation in the Midwest is improving as the storm front moves to the Northeast, where lesser amounts of snowfall are expected.
According to Mark Avery, lead meteorologist for The Weather Channel, a pair of winter storms will move through the Northeast today and tonight. The first one that brought snow to New York, northern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and southern New England is heading out to sea.
The second system, starting later on Monday, will bring a variety of precipitation types mainly to the Mid-Atlantic overnight before heading out to sea on Tuesday morning, February 22. It will cause some locally heavy snow, especially in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania, western Maryland and northeast West Virginia later tonight.
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