The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is definitely facing its fair share of challenges today. Bad weather has caused a lot of flight delays today. However there were still some flights that were leaving and arriving on time despite the terrible weather. Many of the major airlines lost a lot of business, as most of the major airlines were forced to cancel dozens of flights.
The high winds and low visibility has had a big effect on their business as today it appears as the heart of the winter storm has hit Phoenix today. Airlines that were hit hard by this included Southwest Airlines, U.S. Airways and United Airlines. Right now Arizona has an abnormally strong storm moving through the State. Up to 7 inches of rainfall will hit the Phoenix area according to the National Weather Service.
The reason for the flight delays is taking off and especially landing are dangerous right now. And if the winds are high enough, conditions in the air would also make it dangerous for pilots as well. The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has three runways. All 3 of them run from the east to the west. Winds coming from the south right now are traveling over 40 miles per hour are expected today. 25 mph winds are the typical danger zone, and pilots won't operate their plans if crosswinds exceed this speed.
The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport normally has 1,200 flights landing or departing on a typical day. People arriving and departing are from all over the world. So this dilemma will have a ripple effect all across the country. Airline officials however are trying to implement this by using their years of experience and implementing as much damage control as possible. Hopefully within a week or so things will get back to normal.
If you live anywhere in Arizona, especially if you are from the Phoenix area, keep a pulse on the weather and watch the news. I'd advise delaying your travel plans, unless they are business related until the weather clears up some. Best of luck.