ACHRNEWS

Wondering about the Weather

February 8, 2012

My colleagues who live elsewhere around the country like to check with me every third year about weather in Chicago around the time the AHR Expo comes to town. I’m based in northern Illinois, and I do point out that it is not my fault that a major trade show takes place in Chicago during the potentially coldest and heaviest snowfall time of the year in this part of the country.

For us folks based where O’Hare Airport is closest for travel, it is an adventure every year this time of year. Last year, for example, the weather was cold but clear in the AHR host city of Las Vegas. Only trouble was, a blizzard came through Chicago during the expo and my return flight got cancelled well in advance of my scheduled departure. I was able to rebook at the hotel before checking out but could not get a flight home until close to 48 hours after the expo ended. (Of course, there are worse places to be stranded for an extra couple of nights than the MGM Grand, but that’s another story. As is the fact that to get home I had to take a connecting flight through Dallas…on Super Bowl weekend…when us Chicago Bears fans had to put up with dreaded Green Bay Packer fans arriving for the game.)

Anyhow, to get back to the weather in Chicago at AHR, we gave attendees a diversified mix. The 6-inch snowfall that caused chaos at O’Hare the Thursday before was well under control when most folks started arriving over the weekend. And on Sunday night, just before the show opened we gave them a chilly rain, claps of thunder late at night, and rising temperatures throughout the night before settling into the low 40s during expo week.

Next year the show is in Dallas. Not a Super Bowl city that year, so no reinvasion of Packer fans. But, for me, there is always the possibility of a challenge getting out of or back to O’Hare regardless of the weather in Dallas.