DISCUSSION: During a given Winter season, there is no question that various types of wintry weather can have a profound impact on aviation. For example, during icing events, there are often major delays which are created across the aviation industry. The reason for this is a result of the fact that as ice accumulates on both airport runways and aircraft of all sizes, this makes for an increasingly more hazardous situation for both crew and passengers alike. One of the key factors involved in creating a safe environment for both takeoffs and landings is the presence of enough friction between aircraft tires and tarmac as well as the corresponding runways which given aircraft will taking off from and landing on.
Hence, during an ice storm, this reality is often not met and thus, will quite often lead to massive flight delays and/or cancellations across the industry as a result of global aircraft route “ripple effect” which occurs. This a big part of the reason for why even though a snowstorm may impact only region of the United States or a specific section of Europe, the regional delays and/or cancellations create a chain reaction on a global scale which ultimately acts to “ground” other people both around the country and around the world.
In addition, during more intense parts of snowstorms, icy runways are not the only aviation concern. From an even simpler perspective, intense parts of given snowstorms inherently have heavier falling and/or blowing snowfall which will often lead to reduced visibilities. Hence, the reduced visibilities associated with more intense snowstorms can create insufficient aviation-based conditions for takeoffs and/or landings which makes for very hazardous scenarios for any aircraft which attempt to land during snowstorms. Therefore, if you make plans to travel via commercial and/or private aircraft near the time of or during a given winter storm, this can lead to tremendous travel hazards for you and your family.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz