January 5 2011

Weathermen throw 2012 Resolution Walk a curve ball

January 5, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Falling all over each other, in hoping to usher in the New Year with a “sky-is-falling” weather forecast, the weather teams of West Michigan’s TV news outlets forecast a dire New Year’s Day. In forecasting an “over-the-top” winter blast to arrive New Year’s Day morning the intrepid meteorologists had cast a pall on expected attendance at the newly renamed Fred Meijer New Year’s Day resolution Walk, the 11th walk hosted annually by the Friends of the White Pine Trail (FWPT). Known in previous years as the Friends of the White Pine Trail Resolution Walk, the walk was renamed “to honor the memory of a man without whom the White Pine Trail would not be what it is today,” said Dave Heybour, Chairman of the FWPT. Yearly, playing upon a theme of sensationalizing weather forecasts, area weather prognosticators had predicted high winds, freezing cold temps, and 3” to 10” of snow to arrive late New Year’s Day morning, the morning of the Resolution Walk. (It’s easy to be right when the range of snowfall could vary by 7 inches, right?) As is often the case, the weather predictions weren’t even close. In Rockford at 8:00 a.m. New Year’s Day morning, the temperature was an unseasonable 40 degrees F., the wind was calm, and there was a sporadic mist in the air. As we were writing this article Monday evening, Rockford had received a scant 1-inch of snow covering paved surfaces. Nevertheless, the harm had been done. Because of the ratings driven forecast, attendance at the10 a.m. start of this year’s Resolution Walk was slightly more than half of what was expected. Following welcoming speeches by both Heyboer and past Rockford Mayor and current City Councilman Rich Moll, the Walk stepped off northward to a turn-around at 12-Mile Rd. then returned to the Walk’s conclusion at the Rotary Pavilion. Moll was the first City official, in the 11-year history of the Walk, to give an official Rockford welcome to event attendees. Those that showed up that morning, some who had “talked the talk” of a resolution to lose weight and others to simply step into the new year in fellowship with lovers of the Trail and the great outdoors, reaped the added […]