Chicago’s two commercial airports resumed operations after the United States (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ground stop order due to a potential tornado approaching the area.
The FAA stopped all flights to and from O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW) on July 12, 2023. The agency continued to issue updates on operations from the two airports throughout the day and on July 13, 2023. The FAA eventually canceled the ground stop at 7:34 pm local time (UTC -5).
However, upon request from United Airlines, whose hub is located at ORD, the FAA issued a ground stop order only for the airline from 7:31 pm local time (UTC -5). The agency’s last cancelation of a ground stop order came at 7:52 pm local time (UTC -5), with the FAA deactivating the Chicago area hotline at 8:21 pm local time (UTC -5).
The US National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center issued a warning on July 12, 2023, that severe thunderstorms were “anticipated across the Midwest today”. In addition, it was noted that hail and wind was also likely and the “best chance for a tornado would be near/just west of Chicago” later that evening.
According to the Associated Press (AP), the NWS added that there were “additional circulations along the line south of O’Hare”.
“Seek shelter if in the warned area,” it continued.
ORD is located northwest of Chicago’s downtown area, while MDW is to the southwest.
“Severe weather is imminent at O’Hare International Airport. If you’re in the airport, please exercise caution, and follow the instructions of all airport personnel. Service on the Airport Transit System is suspended until the threat of severe weather has passed,” ORD said in a Twitter statement at the time.