Speed Reads

most wonderful time of the year

'Once in a generation' winter storm disrupts holiday travel

Airlines had canceled or delayed roughly 16,000 flights by Thursday night as nearly 100 million Americans braced for what forecasters described as a "once in a generation" storm, which hit the middle of the country and began dumping snow across the middle of the United States.

Roughly two-thirds of the population is now under a winter weather warning or advisory, and "nearly a million customers are without power across the South, Midwest and the East Coast," The New York Times reports Friday morning.

The storm is heading east, disrupting travel on the ground as well as air ahead of the peak Christmas weekend. At least three people were killed in crashes in Kansas that were blamed on harsh weather. Some areas in the Great Lakes region are expected to get more than a foot of snow. Forecasters warn a "bomb cyclone" could send temperatures dropping by as much as 50 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of hours. Some areas are expected to get wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour.

More than 3,400 flights had been canceled as of roughly 9 a.m. ET on Friday.

Still planning to travel? For tips on how to survive the madness, check out this handy guide from The Washington Post.