Significant flight disruptions are ongoing in Chicago (Illinois) due to heavy snowfall and extreme winter conditions as of 10:15 (local time) on Monday, January 28. At least 797 flights have been canceled at O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and another 223 at Midway International Airport (MDW). A winter weather advisory is in effect for the region until 18:00 and further flight disruptions are possible in the coming hours and days. Historically low temperatures are also forecast for Chicago and the surrounding region through Wednesday, January 30, with highs expected around -22°C (-8°F). Adverse driving conditions are also likely in the coming days.
Severely cold temperatures are also forecast for the northern Plains, upper Midwest, and Northeast through Thursday, January 31. The states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Indiana will experience temperatures of -23°C (-10°F) to -34°C (-30°F) with wind chills of -45°C (-50°F) to -53°C (-65°F) from January 30 to January 31.
The extreme temperatures are caused by low pressure system of arctic air that sometimes travels south, in an event commonly known as a "polar vortex." Officials recorded lows of -26°C (-16°F) in Chicago (Illinois) and -27°C (-18°F) in Green Bay (Wisconsin) during the so-called Polar Vortex of 2014.
Travelers flying through Chicago are advised to monitor the situation, confirm flight reservations prior to leaving for the airport, and anticipate delays and cancelations over the coming hours and days.
Additionally, individuals in the US are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions (e.g. flight delays and cancelations, icy roads, limited visibility), refrain from unnecessary travel, and keep sufficient food, water, and warm clothing if driving in the region.
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