Friday, December 8

Foggy, rainy weather delays start

As a thick fog and light rain settled over Chicago morning Sunday, some Air and Water Show performances had to be postponed to the afternoon, organizers said.

But, as they say, the show must go on—and it has.

All performances summarized around 12:30 pm, once the weather began to clear up, according to Ron Hall, a spokesman for the show. As he spoke, the rumbling of overhead aircraft could be heard in the distance, as plans once again took to the skies.

“This morning, due to the inclement weather and low ceilings, we started the show at approximately 10:15 am with an adjusted schedule that included demonstrations from the Chicago Police Department helicopter, the Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea rescue and the US Coast Guard. Air/Sea Rescue. Our civilian pilots were moved from the beginning of the show to later in the afternoon,” said Jennifer Johnson Washington, first deputy commissioner at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Delays didn’t allow for the participation of Susan Dacy’s Barnstorming America with Big Red, Washington said. Despite the weather, initial organizer estimates show approximately 2 million viewers attended this year, attendance comparable to the last time the full show was held, in 2019.

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The organizers’ radio partner, Newsradio 780/105.9, helped communicate news of the delay and the changing schedule with fans, according to Washington.

“These low clouds have been kind of pesky and those are gonna hang around. They’ll at least be in the area through the afternoon, still. Hopefully they won’t be as thick or as overcast,” said Kevin Doom, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “We’ll see some more breaks in the clouds and actually get some sunshine in here a little bit later this afternoon.”

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Doom said the system responsible for the delayed schedule hasn’t dissipated, but it had mostly moved out of the downtown area around 12:30 pm

“Those showers are making their way down to the south and southwest suburbs and we’re gonna continue to see sort of this spotty shower activity for the next few to possibly several hours here, mid- to possibly late afternoon. (Forecasters) can’t rule out an isolated thunderstorm or two.”

Saturday’s performances were also accompanied by rain showers, which cleared up around 4 pm — just as the annual event came to close for the day. Despite the wet weather, those displays went on as planned.

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