Planes are grounded at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. after a system failure at Federal Aviation Administration on January 11, 2023. American canceled hundreds of flights because of weather on Tuesday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Airports from New York, North Carolina and Kentucky temporarily paused flights on Tuesday as a strong winter storm swept across the country.
The Muhammad Ali International Airport in Louisville briefly closed while New York's LaGuardia Airport and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina both issued ground stops because of worsening weather conditions.
A total of 1,012 flights within, into or out of the United States were canceled Tuesday, according to FlightAware. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport led the way, canceling 34% of flights, 294 in all, leaving the airport and another 31% coming in. Nashville International Airport canceled 13% of its flights as American Airlines canceled 10% or 313 flights.
AccuWeather said temperatures fell to the below-freezing range Tuesday morning throughout the southern Plaines, including into the single digits in some places in Oklahoma. Much of Texas suffered below-freezing temperatures as well.
Officials in North Texas closed scores of school districts as travel conditions worsened Monday night into Tuesday morning because of accumulating freezing rain.
"The headlining weather story over the next few days will be the ongoing ice storm affecting portions of the southern Plains and Mid-South that is forecast to continue into at least early Thursday," the National Weather Service said in a statement Tuesday morning.
"In the wake of an arctic cold frontal passage, warm and moist air overrunning cold air at the surface draped over the region will produce freezing rain and sleet that could lead to significant impacts."
The weather service said multiple rounds of wintry precipitation are predicted, followed by brief lulls with a return of sleet and freezing rain that could drastically deteriorate road conditions. The result could leave up to a quarter-inch of ice on roads from West Texas to western Tennessee.
"In addition to potentially hazardous travel conditions, this amount of ice will likely lead to tree damage and scattered power outages across the hardest-hit regions," the weather service said.
"Sleet accumulations around a half inch or locally higher are also possible from West Texas to Arkansas, which can also lead to treacherous travel or add to the already slippery conditions."
The NWS said the next shot of arctic air is expected to enter North Dakota and the Upper Midwest by Thursday.