Flight Delays from Freshwater Fury

October 20, 2011; 5:18 PM ET
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Not only will the powerful storm cause takeoff and landing delays, but also turbulence. Take your motion sickness medication if you are flying today. Photo by photos.com.

Update 05:35pm

@WxMeghanEvans: Gusty winds are causing flight delays at JFK, Newark, and Philadelphia International Airports.

Following tonight's flight delays? FAA's Flight Delay Information

As a "Freshwater Fury" blasts the Great Lakes, gusty winds will lead to flight delays from the Upper Midwest to the South and East into tonight.

While the powerful gusts will drop off during the evening, winds can still cause some problems well into the overnight hours.

The wind will be far-reaching in the northeastern part of the nation and will have ripple-effect delays over much of the U.S.

Gusty winds are howling from Madison and St. Louis southward to Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., and into Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

Delays of an hour or more with arriving flights are anticipated in Philadelphia and New York's JFK Airport into this evening due to gusty winds.

Wind gusts around the Great Lakes region, including in Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Milwaukee, were topping 40 mph Thursday.

Wind gusts in open areas even into the Tennessee Valley and along the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts from the distant storm can reach or exceed 35 mph into the evening.

Even in places where flights are not significantly delayed, the unstable atmosphere will create a broad area of turbulence, reaching from the central to the eastern part of the United States and neighboring Canada.

The turbulence will be a problem in lower altitudes, especially for local commuter aircraft and for all aircraft during takeoff, landing, ascent and descent.

The storm is essentially becoming a giant vacuum in the atmosphere. The rush of air from surrounding areas into the storm creates the strong flow of wind. The more powerful the vacuum, the stronger the winds get.

Although not as intense, nor as far northwest as the storm that smacked the Great Lakes and sank the Edmund Fitzgerald on Nov. 10, 1975, this storm will still pack a punch for Great Lakes freight and air travel.

The storm will lift northward into northern Quebec, Canada, and weaken by Friday.

As the storm pulls away and weakens, the flow of strong winds will subside and related problems will ease in time for the weekend.

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