The Ice Man Groundeth 1K Flights in Texas

Southwest is not having a particularly cheery day again
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 31, 2023 11:25 AM CST
The Ice Man Groundeth 1K Flights in Texas
An American Airlines aircraft undergoes deicing procedures on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas.   (Lola Gomez/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Winter weather brought ice to Texas and nearby states Tuesday, causing the cancellation of more than 1,300 flights and delaying nearly as many more. Numerous auto collisions were reported in Austin, with at least one fatality. In Travis County, Texas, which includes Austin, police and sheriff’s deputies have been responding to new crashes about every three minutes since 8am, per the AP. More than 700 flights to or from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, a major US hub, and more than 200 to or from Dallas Love Field were canceled or delayed Tuesday, according to FlightAware. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has canceled more than 300 flights and delayed nearly 100 more, reports WFAA, with only Fort Worth-based American Airlines faring worse with 421 cancellations.

The storm began Monday as part of an expected “several rounds” of wintry precipitation through Wednesday across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Chenard. "Generally light to moderate freezing rain resulting in some pretty significant ice amounts," Chenard said. "We're expecting ice accumulations potentially a quarter inch or higher as far south as Austin, Texas, up to Dallas over to Little Rock, Arkansas, toward Memphis, Tennessee, and even getting close to Nashville, Tennessee."

The weather service has issued a winter storm warning for a large swath of Texas and parts of southeastern Oklahoma and an ice storm warning across the midsection of Arkansas into western Tennessee. A winter weather advisory is in place in much of the remainder of Arkansas and Tennessee and into much of Kentucky, West Virginia, and southern parts of Indiana and Ohio. Schools and colleges in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas planned to close or go to virtual learning Tuesday. The flight disruptions follow Southwest’s meltdown in December that began with a winter storm but continued after most other airlines had recovered. (More winter weather stories.)

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