Just about anyone who was dreaming of a white Christmas is about to have their dream come true. However, it many mean that many won’t be home for Christmas.
A massive, potentially dangerous winter weather event heading into the weekend is causing the plans of many across the United States to be either canceled or delayed, according to the Washington Examiner.
Dangerously low freezing temperatures and blizzard conditions were expected across much of the nation.
By Thursday afternoon, there had been more than 5,236 cancellations and 20,253 delays, according to FlightAware.
Those numbers were only expected to increase as record-breaking cold, life-threatening wind chills and large amounts of freezing rain and snow were expected in various areas nationwide, according to the National Weather Service.
Several airlines announced they were willing to waive cancellation and change fees as a motivator for people to pick a different time to travel that is likely a safer and more enjoyable time to travel, according to the Examiner.
Conditions described as “hazardous” by the National Weather Service were being caused by a strong arctic cold front pushing southward across the Plains.
It was then expected to shift eastward into the Ohio and Tennessee valleys.
As the front rolled through, the central High Plains areas had temperatures that plunged 50 degrees Fahrenheit in only a few hours.
At the same time, the central and northern Plains and northern Rockies experienced sub-zero temperatures. Wind gusts have been as high as 60 mph.
The areas that are getting hit the hardest by the inclement weather are the Midwest and the Central Plains, according to Forbes.
Not only are these areas experiencing heavy snowfall and high winds, but visibility is expected to be near zero with a great deal of blowing and drifting snow.
Winter weather alerts and wind chill alerts have been issued in at least 37 states so far, according to CNN.
Some of the alerts reach as far south as Texas.
The gusting winds and areas having heavy snow are anticipated to experience issues involving downed power lines and power loss.
The frigid temperatures are anticipated to last into the Christmas holidays.
That will make this Christmas the coldest one in approximately 40 years in areas such as the Plains and the Midwest, CNN reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.