I will be the first to admit that sometimes our discussions are a bit lengthy or a bit on the more technical side of things, especially since I am the one that writes half of them. I strive to find a middle ground of not dumbing it down too much like you see on TV now and days (most big networks can't say front or low/high) and not making it as technical as NWS sometimes makes their discussions. The main reason they are a bit more detailed and lengthy, especially in the winter, is mostly for the snow rangers but it also benefits SAR's efforts, snow making efforts, and guides coming up among others. Amount of snow coming, and what is causing it can play into their efforts and decisions.
The way to look at discussions vs forecast is like a studying for a test. For some, studying everything available works. So they will read our forecast discussions (valley and summit) and then look at NWS discussions (Grey, Taunton, Burlington) and see what they are saying then possibly look at acccuweather or their local news station for a comparison to get the big picture then turn to the higher summits page and see how those fronts will affect the visibility, weather, temperature and winds on the day of their hike. Others will look just at the higher summits page and go straight to the forecast kind of like only studying the study guide sheet you might be given a few days before the test. And that works for them. So far we have seen both sides of this coin in this thread. Some read everything others just get what they need and move on.
I would say whether you are a big picture person or a quick overview person, so long as you are getting what you need the day of your hike and are packing correctly for the weather on your hike to make it up and down safely, then we did our job. But your question does raise an interesting point and we were discussing it tonight as a possible intern project to see how we might better direct our discussions. It won't be an immediate change but it is something we should consider if a lot of people out there feel the same way as you.
Last edited by Knapper; 11-02-2010 at 12:40 AM.
Staff Meteorologist/Night Observer, KMWN (Mt Washington Obs., NH)