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Old 10-25-2009, 12:25 PM
 
149 posts, read 289,978 times
Reputation: 95

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Hey everybody,
I'm a bit of a weather nerd and I've been reading the National Weather Service website. They are saying that there is a relatively high probability of a major winter snow event for this Wednesday - Friday. Unfortunately, I have a flight scheduled to depart Wednesday evening from DIA - LAX.

Question: does DIA operate during snow storms? If so, at what point do they actually shut down....and can this be monitored in any way? We're new to the city.

PS- my wife and I just moved here from LA and are a little surprised at how early winter arrives here.
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
9,250 posts, read 12,389,528 times
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Life goes on, unless it's a particularly bad blizzard (I believe DIA last closed in 2006). Worst case scenario, your flight leaves late. I don't think what we'll be getting later this week will be enough to severely affect your travel plans.

I have worked out of DIA and Centennial Airport for the past two years. Since I've been here, DIA has never closed, and Centennial has twice, but that was only because the ILS was down.

Welcome to Colorado. You'll be fine. During the winter, you'll see how easily life goes on when it's snowing, and you'll look back and laugh at your previous dealings with "weather" in Southern California.
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 3,156,227 times
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DIA hasn't been "shut down" since that huge blizzard a few years ago that shut down the entire city and made national news. I think it was in 2003 or 2004. Your flight may be late because it's coming from another destination and they have delays, but DIA has some pretty serious equipment and technology that allows it to operate when other airports wouldn't. That's not to say that it's perfect, but they do a pretty good job. My family has flown in when we had some serious snow on the ground and they still made it in on time. We were late because Pena Blvd was a mess, however. It's all about the $$$ so they work very hard to make sure the airlines aren't losing money or time. I'm also a little biased because my husband works for DIA, but during snow season, he's working nearly 24-hours a day and in charge of the snow removal equipment. He often tells me that they have been given their marching orders...no delays. If flights are delayed, they all have to answer to the bosses and they don't want to do that.

Best advice: When traveling in the winter, book the first flight of the day. That means your plane has likely been at the gate overnight. If you travel later in the day, your plane has been to at least a few destinations and the more it moves around, the greater likelihood of it being delayed somewhere else. Once it gets delayed in another destination, it's hard to catch up. The first flight out may be slightly delayed to get de-iced, but at least you're on it. I always travel early during the winter.
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
9,250 posts, read 12,389,528 times
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Here's the last biggie, December 20-21, 2006:

Snow Keeps Travelers Stranded In Denver - CBS News

and a great picture of it:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/87/Denver_Airport_Snowcover_Dec_22_2006.jpg (broken link)
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:24 PM
Status: "60th anniversary of the polio vaccine! Hail to Pitt!" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
70,055 posts, read 60,607,466 times
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Accu-weather is calling for 9.7 inches total Oct. 25-28. That means there probably won't be more than a few inches on the ground at any one time, not enought to close the airport. If you hit the wrong day, your flight may be delayed, though.

http://www.accuweather.com/us/co/louisville/80027/forecast.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&metric =0 (broken link)
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:04 AM
 
1,176 posts, read 2,982,241 times
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I have flown to LAX in the snow from DIA many many times. Generally the plane is 30 minutes or so late to take off because of de-icing, frequently this delay is made up entirely or just about in the air and we land just about on time.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:52 AM
 
149 posts, read 289,978 times
Reputation: 95
Thanks for the advice guys! That picture of DIA during the 06 blizzard is awesome! (I'm a weather nerd). Glad to know that the airport keeps running except during the horrible blizzards. I guess the worst part about flying during a snow storm is getting to/from the airport!
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:49 PM
 
303 posts, read 961,617 times
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A December 2006 sized event is not entirely out of the question for Wed-Thurs, btw. While we could just end up with a few inches, it could also go towards a few feet depending on exactly how things pan out.

If you really really need to get to LAX, you might want to consider changing your flight to Tuesday night or Wednesday morning (at the latest) - even if the airport is open, that doesn't mean that your flight won't be cancelled or severely delayed.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Centennial
40 posts, read 96,430 times
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just to agree w/ what everyone else is saying, DIA is pretty well prepared for weather due to the lovely climate that we live in plan on being delayed just in case and you should be good to go!!!
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,206 posts, read 2,739,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Accu-weather is calling for 9.7 inches total Oct. 25-28. That means there probably won't be more than a few inches on the ground at any one time, not enought to close the airport. If you hit the wrong day, your flight may be delayed, though.

AccuWeather.com - Louisville 5 Day Weather Forecast: CO (http://www.accuweather.com/us/co/louisville/80027/forecast.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&metric =0 - broken link)

Hmm, that link is showing 14.8" of snow for the next 3 days...
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