Record Breaking Temperatures Hit SeaTac

Ely Ponti

Right after the holidays passed, cold weather swooped all over Washington. The Seattle Times said that the Seattle area experienced record breaking temperatures in 31 years. With bitter cold temperatures and extreme snowfall, Seattle and most of Western Washington reached all time lows in decades. 

The day after Christmas, The Seattle Times said that the Seattle area had four to five inches of snow after one night, with continuous snowfall throughout the following week. From Seattle’s weather services, temperatures hit an all time low of 23 degrees in 31 years. At Seattle International Airport, it reached a low of 17 degrees, the coldest weather since 1948. 

“Being in Florida with 80 degree weather for the past week was so nice”, said senior Alexis Anderson,”it was dreading to come home to below freezing weather.”

While temperatures were dropping dramatically, it caused hundreds of power outages, car accidents due to black ice, delays in public transportation, businesses closing, and SeaTac having hundreds of cancellations, delays, lost luggage, and staffing shortages. Anchorage Daily News said that in three days around 1,300 plus flights coming in and out of SeaTac had been canceled. With the Omicron variant spreading rapidly and holiday travel coming to an end, Covid infections spread throughout the airport making it hard for staff and for airlines to stay on schedule without delays or cancellations. 

The Seattle Times said SeaTac experienced  a “domino effect” since airlines struggled to get passengers booked onto new flights while short staffed. Airlines battled to reschedule flights, but airplanes and crews were in different locations and it would take days for them to be back on their regular schedule. Due to law, flight crews were “timed out” and would not be able to go over their time because of federal regulations, which caused more flights to be canceled. 

“My family and I came home from Florida a couple days after SeaTac had to shut down flights but we had no problems with our flight”, said Anderson, “but once we got to baggage claim and  arrivals we had to wait hours.”