Massive winter storms are expected to roil much of the Midwest and Northeast this weekend, with snow, ice, high winds and bone-chilling temperatures driving millions of Americans indoors.
Icy conditions on Friday morning prompted Kansas City International Airport to close after a Delta flight — set to fly to Detroit with 129 passengers and crew — slid off a taxiway just before 6:30 a.m., NBC affiliate KSHB in Kansas City reported.
No one was injured, but flights in and out of the airport were halted from about 8:30 a.m. to just before noon on Friday.
The AFC title game, between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, is set for 2:05 p.m. in Kansas City on Sunday, with temperatures forecast to be about 23 degrees with wind chills making it feel like 14 at kickoff, according to forecasts.
If football was to be played in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Sunday, fans would be shivering in temperatures between 23 degrees and 8 degrees.
But the NFC championship game — between the Packers and host San Francisco 49ers — is being played in West Coast, one of the few regions of America spared by this winter blast. The mercury in rain-free Santa Clara, California, is expected to hover between a comfortable 45 degrees and 61 degrees on Sunday.
Blizzard warnings have been issued for across South Dakota, where 4 inches to 6 inches of snow are expected to fall on Sioux Falls — with winds gusting up to 45 mph.
Residents of Minneapolis are bracing for a snowstorm that’s expected to start at midday Friday and last into Saturday afternoon. Between 6 inches and 9 inches of snow are expected to fall on the Twin Cities.
It is expected to be be all hands on deck at the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport as crews work to keep planes moving and passengers safe.
“I think of it as, if my family is on that plane, I want them to be safe,” Jeff Mattson, duty manager for the Airside Operations Center, told NBC affiliate KARE. “And if it’s a situation that is not safe, we’re not going to go down that road.”
Heavy snow is also forecast for Detroit where up to 8 inches is expected to fall between Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
Between 4 inches and 8 inches of snow are expected to come down in Hartford, Connecticut between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
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