SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Severe weather has caused airports nationwide to experience an overwhelming number of flight cancellations and delays on Thursday, Dec. 22. The Salt Lake City International Airport is no exception.

More than 200 flights have been delayed today at the airport, according to Flight Aware. Another 45 flights were canceled. In total, nearly 11,000 flights have been impacted across the U.S. in the last 24 hours.

“I think our idea is that if it’s going to happen, it will happen anyway,” said JT Belcort, a traveler heading to Dallas from Salt Lake City. “[I’ve been] mentally preparing for it. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen.”

Utah received some strong winds Wednesday night after a Wind Chill Warning was issued for portions of Box Elder, Cache Valley, the Wasatch Back and the Uinta Basin. At Big Cottonwood Canyon, ABC4’s Chief Meteorologist Alana said the winds topped 58 mph.

However, Utahns do not have to worry about travel impacts on Friday as Brophy said there would not be any expected major hindrance weather-wise aside from chilly temperatures. The highest temperature tomorrow in the Wasatch Front will be around 54 degrees, and the lowest will be in the 30s.

If your holiday travel plans are affected, you’re not alone.

Throughout the U.S., many states are experiencing winter storms, blizzards, high winds, plunging temperatures, or a combination of everything.

But what exactly is the cause of this widespread severe weather?

Well, the Associated Press said it’s all thanks to the front of cold air that is currently moving down from the Arctic. Frigid air over the snowy ground in the Artic pooled over time, and the jet stream — air currents in the middle and upper parts of the atmosphere — pushed this cold system down into the U.S.

Forecasters are expecting the weather system to build into a “bomb cyclone” — an intense mid-latitude storm that forms when air pressure drops rapidly within 24 hours.

For now, this prolonged blast of frigid air from the Artic is projected to move east and south all the way to Florida in the days leading up to Christmas, wrecking chaos on travel plans and causing dangerous winter conditions.

Most states will see below-average temperatures lasting until the middle or end of next week, said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland.

Oravec said airports in the Midwest, especially Chicago, will likely face shutdowns as the blizzards come through later in the week.

While this storm is a strong one, he said it’s not unheard of for the winter seasons.