Polar vortex in Midwest causes flight delays at Orlando International Airport

More than 1,000 flights canceled nationwide

ORLANDO, Fla. – More than a dozen flights were canceled at Orlando International Airport on Tuesday as a polar vortex is causing temperatures to plummet to record-breaking lows in the Midwest.

Some travelers were heading to cities with wind chill that is forecast to be more than 100 degrees colder than Orlando.

"We hear the temps will be in the negative 30s and wind chill in the negative 50s and 60s," Joleen Simonson said.  "We're not too thrilled."

After spending the last six days in Central Florida, Simonson and her friends were traveling back home to Minnesota, where temperatures on Tuesday night could drop to 30 below zero.

The National Weather Service has advised that if people go outside in the extreme cold, they should avoid taking deep breaths and minimize talking.

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"That's going to be hard for us not to talk, honestly," Simonson said. "We might have to wrap a muzzle around or something to stay warm."

Heavy snow and gusting winds created blizzard-like conditions Monday in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and other states where officials closed schools, courthouses and businesses.

More than 1,000 flights were canceled nationwide Tuesday due to the icy conditions.

In Orlando, airport officials urged passengers to check ahead with their airline for cancellations and arrive at least two hours before domestic flights.  

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.