phlwx, 1) Yep 2) Yep 3) Yep. Pretty much nails it on the head. Models are never going to be right on at r/s line. And really, they don't need to be. My weenie-ness is not a financial justification for better snowline on models lol. Really, they just need to parse out the broad details of strong systems for public safety and government and utility preparedness. Which actually the models and mets do a very fine job at.
The communication aspect is the part that can use the most help, for exactly the reasons you mentioned. It's about clicks, not assessments of reality. I can't see a way to change that for the internet, but I continue advocate our fine NWS folks and all our mets to continue the excellent work of informing and warning in the bigger picture.
Thinking back on it, there've been a number of busts on r/s line amounts, and, if I may say, bfd. Lol. The only event I can think of that was regrettable in the last 10 years or so was the surprise ice storm a few years back the roads weren't prepped for, and there were a lot of accidents. Nothing to do with the mets, really just an example of the incredible trickiness of ice forecasting, but more just to show the not infrequent event misfires on pretty color snow maps miss the big picture, that public safety problems due to forecasting misses is a rare issue.
Anyway, NAM did well with this. (And I duck....)