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Gusty winds lead to ground stop at Denver International Airport Friday

All flights were held at their origins until at least 4:30 p.m., leading to a messy Friday at DIA.
Credit: Denver International Airport

DENVER — Strong winds forced a ground stop at Denver International Airport on Friday afternoon, with big delays likely through the evening.

Inbound flights were being held at their origins until at least 4:30 p.m., marking an over two-hour delay for inbound flights.

Delays were starting to rack up as a result of the ground stop, with 490 flights between 1 and 5 p.m. delayed coming in or out of DIA, as of about 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

No planes were able to take off for nearly an hour on Friday afternoon, based on data from flight tracking website FlightAware. Not a single flight took off from Denver International Airport between 2:15 p.m. and 3:04 p.m., a highly disruptive delay during one of the busiest flight times of the week.

Strong winds and blowing dust led to the delays. While no rain or thunderstorms were observed at DIA on Friday afternoon, gusty and highly variable wind directions kicked up dust and made flying in or out of the airport difficult. 

DIA recorded a peak gust of 27 mph at 2:22 p.m. on Friday afternoon. That said, the blowing dust and the wind shear (changing of wind speed and direction with height) made flying extra difficult.

The strongest of the winds should be over and done with for the airport and the entire metro area, with gentler winds likely for the remainder of the evening.

This follows a messy Thursday for air travel as well at DIA, with another ground stop and lengthy delays noted yesterday as well.

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