Fog in July isn't usually news in San Francisco, but Tuesday's thick patch is making headlines and creating headaches. "It is a little bit unusual for July to have this severe fog lingering so long. And, what's happening, the shorter haul flights up and down the West Coast, hour an hour and a half or less, are most impacted," SFO spokesman Mike McCarron told ABC7 News.
The visibility problems have cut the number of planes arriving in half from 60 planes an hour to 30 and the results are evident throughout the terminal. "The first thing, when we got the email this morning, and I was like gee, great," Christina Weise said. She and her family are trying to get back to St Louis. When she heard the delay was because of weather, her tolerance went up a bit. "Well that's OK. That's Mother Nature," she said.
Chuck Fredgren may have been the biggest victim at the airport, accumulating a bunch of boarding passes trying to get out of SFO and suffering through the whole thing with two small children. "They are pretty much having meltdowns about every 15 minutes," he said, admitting he would like to have one with them, but "somebody's got to hold it together."
The weather caused some flights to be delayed up to three hours and since the delays happened during the busy summer travel season, most flights were full so there weren't many options. The hope was that the band of gray would lift soon. "If we can get it burned off by noon or one, by the evening, we should be back on track, but if it lingers all day, it's going to be a slow day throughout the rest of the day," McCarron said.
By 11 a.m., the airport was operating about two hours behind. Ironically, San Francisco International Airport was the only airport experiencing weather delays Tuesday while the rest of the country was dealing with a heat wave.