Thousands of flights canceled as new winter storms lash country

March came in like a lion, all right.

More than a dozen flights were canceled or delayed by more than an hour at McCarran International Airport Monday as a result of weather elsewhere, according to FlightStats, a website that tracks flights and compiles airport data.

More than 5,000 flights were canceled Monday and over the weekend as another series of winter storms blasted the East Coast, the Midwest and Texas.

Temperatures were expected to plunge to single digits Tuesday in the mid-Atlantic states and light snow showers were forecast in western New York.

Flights to and from Baltimore, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, New York, St. Louis, Dallas and Houston were affected. Airlines serving airports in those cities posted notices on their websites that passengers could rebook flights without penalty. Airlines also encouraged passengers scheduled on Tuesday flights to call or go online for information about potential delays and cancellations.

At Washington’s Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport, most of the day’s flight schedule was canceled and planes were grounded for deicing. The region was expecting 4 to 8 inches of snow, isolated thunderstorms, highs in the mid-20s and 30-mph wind gusts.

In Washington, federal government offices and Congress were shut down and schools were closed Monday. A Nevada delegation making a pitch to bring the Republican Party’s 2016 national convention to Las Vegas had its presentation postponed by bad weather. Among those scrambling to rearrange flights was Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who chairs the host committee.

McCarran spokeswoman Christine Crews said cancellations in Washington, New York and Philadelphia have created problems in Las Vegas because planes couldn’t get where they need to be to provide connecting flights.

“It’s a compounding effect and the number of delays will probably increase throughout the day,” Crews said. “This winter, it seems as if bad weather is the norm instead of the exception.”

The weekend storms weren’t as bad as earlier winter weather when more than 14,000 flights were canceled over a four-day period in mid-February.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow him on Twitter @RickVelotta.