4 years in and pretty much zero improvements to clouds

I agree.

Although having gained sufficient accuracy over the course of (too) many months since SU7 in terms of where clouds and weather phenomena in general (rain, snow, visibilty) are simulated, Live Weather still often lacks a plausible and convincing depiction, as cloud rendering is cumulus centric and neglects atmospheric conditions.
As an example, multilayered stratiform cloudscapes associated with warm fronts are inaccurately rendered with high reaching convective clouds in the sim.
Higher level clouds generally seem to be generic, and Cirrus clouds are missing entirely, although attempts with thin layers of convective clouds are honorable.
CB’s are not rendered convincingly (weak and shallow), Thunderstorms are either missing or they are depicted underwhelmingly and have no impact on the flight, as typical physical phenomena inside of clouds like turbulence, up- and downdrafts and icing are at least unsufficient.
That might even be an advantage, as a realistic weather radar is still missing in otherwise sophisticated addon planes, so there’s no chance of circumnavigating those threats, one of the few remaining challenges in an otherwise pretty digitized aviation environment.
I’m listing Wx radar here, because to my understanding the limiting factor is accessing live weather data and not so much programming a gauge.
Generally, clouds in Live Weather have a lower density than preset clouds, probably contributing to some of the above mentioned deficits (confirmed for cloud turbulence in the last Q&A).

I see an imbalance in the development of MSFS:
while Aircraft, Scenery and Core sim are covered with dedicated personnel and timelines, Atmosphere, Weather and Environment are treated as a minor matter and improvements happen incidentally.
Unfortunately, the number of users caring enough is limited (e.g. this thread: Can we have a weather Atmosphere and Environment update only please? hasn’t really gained traction)

But maybe the current atmospheric simulation has too many limitations to implement the numerous demands from the community.

I have a feeling - or call it hope - that the already confirmed rewrite of the atmosphere simulation (Q&A Nov’23 I think, with regards to the community wishlist item regarding ARPC values for sunset colors) may include some major changes.
The implementation of tornadoes for example only makes sense (imho) if they are based on real time data and get injected without much delay. Some half-baked solution like the lightning (probably based on CAPE values) in the current sim - or even worse ice coverage based on snow height - would disappoint me.

For the time being I think the discussion is obsolete, as we won’t see major changes in the atmospheric simulation with MSFS2020. For the successor there’s not enough information for a substantial discussion.

My hope is that

a) MSFS2024 will be a major step forward in terms of the simulation of atmospheric conditions and produces Live weather that is

  • accurate or at least reasonable
  • visually appealing and
  • meteorologically and physically plausible

b) MSFS2024 allows access to the relevant weather data - in the best case even for third parties - to implement features like full fledged weather radars.

c) shouldn’t that be the case, that more users would support related Bugreport- and Wishlist threads.