Weather Updates

New Year’s Eve snow shouldn’t dampen the party: bar operator

Updated: February 1, 2014 6:13AM

A snowstorm moving into the Chicago area just in time for New Year’s Eve could cover us with 3 or more inches of snow, possibly slowing down the party scene a bit — but by no means burying it, one tavern operator said.

“There might be slightly lesser amounts in the southern suburbs, but generally speaking, pretty much the metro area is going to end up with 3 to 5 inches,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Gino Izzi said.

The first flakes should arrive early Tuesday evening — possibly in time for the evening commute — and continue through Wednesday morning, the peak period when holiday revelers are venturing outside.

Drivers should be prepared for snow-covered roads, limited visibility and difficult travel, the weather service said.

A winter weather advisory will go into effect at 4 p.m. Tuesday and continue through 10 a.m. Wednesday for Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties, as well as areas around Rockford and DeKalb.

New Year’s Eve highs reaching 15 to19 degrees. Wind chills as low as minus 10 are possible again Tuesday night as the snow starts to fall.

Local tavern operators didn’t think the snow would greatly hamper business.

“It will probably slow things down a bit,” said Michael Spinks, a bartender at Emmit’s Irish Pub at Grand and Milwaukee. “People like to go out on New Years Eve, so if they were planning to go out anyway, they’re probably still going to go out.”

Drinking and driving on snowy roads posed another concern.

“People on the roads would be my biggest concern,” said Josh Harrell, manager of Five Star tavern in West Town. “Hopefully everyone in this neighborhood would take a taxi, but you can never be too sure.”

New Year’s Day will see highs in the lower 20s and lows between 16 to 20 degrees, with a 60 percent chance of precipitation, the weather service said.

Though Tuesday’s storm will be a fairly “run-of-the-mill” snowstorm by Chicago standards, drivers should double-check that they have emergency supplies in their vehicles.

Motorists should make sure gas tanks are full, and stock vehicles with a flashlight, gloves, other warm clothes, shovel and a candle for warmth.

“Anytime you’re driving in the winter, especially in outlying areas, you should always have a winter survival kit in the car,” Izzi said.

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