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Nearly 550 flights canceled at Chicago airports as temperatures plummet

An electronic board shows flight delays and cancellations at O'Hare International Airport after a snowstorm on November 26, 2018. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Snowy conditions from Monday’s storm and unrelenting freezing temperatures Tuesday prompted Chicago’s two major airports to cancel nearly 550 flights on Tuesday.

As of 10:50 p.m., 273 flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport while 274 were grounded at Midway International Airport, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation. At both airports, delays were averaging less than 15 minutes.

That’s a significant reduction from Monday night, which saw more than 1,300 flights canceled between O’Hare and Midway. Both airports were hit with roughly 3 inches of fresh snow by Monday morning before more flurries moved in overnight and continued through Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures plummeted to dangerous, sub-zero levels Tuesday, the weather service said. The brutal cold snap could force windchill values to drop to 50 degrees below zero in some parts of the Chicago area by Wednesday.

As a result, the weather service issued a wind chill warning for northern Illinois and much of northwest Indiana that will remain in effect until noon Thursday. The “dangerously cold” conditions could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes, the weather service warned.