Historic Weather (as second timeline)

Although I can’t prove, I do believe you are wrong. For example, the amount of data required to store, stream and display the Bing Map scenery is orders of magnitude greater than the weather data. While we need thousands of RGB and elevation data per each square meter (to say the least), weather data requires not much than one point of wind, temperature, pressure (maybe humidity) per square kilometer (or less, depending on the quality of the source data). This data may be stratified throughout an altitude interval.

Also, storage of historical meteorological data is fundamental for any weather service. That’s the point of automated weather stations. Weather models depend on the current and past measurements. So the data not only exists, I’m pretty sure it spans decades.

Just to ilustrate this, as a hobby, I made a meteorological station on my porch with a Raspberry Pi single board computer and has been collecting data points every minute for roughtly three months. The database it populated since measures 2.0MB (one and a half HD floppy disks, if you ever saw one of those). Below are snapshots of the last 24h and since the beginning of recording.



The measurements are temperature, humidity and pressure.

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Alle the historic data is already available at Meteoblue. So amount of Data shouldn’t also be different

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Also, ActiveSky is providing Historical Weather for ages now on FSX/P3D, even FS9 before that. Go figure.

It doesn’t even have to reach back all the way to creation. Just giving us the past week would already help a lot. Hell, even just having the last 24 hours available already would do and solve the major problem of time difference across half the world.

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I agree with every single point from guenseli.

My reason aligns with others I see. I work night shift, so my life runs at night, even when I’m flying on the weekends. I almost always change the time to be daylight, and I would love the weather to match the time I’m flying. The weather and clouds are both very different at night. I’m not flying at that time of day by choice. I’d say a week of historical weather would probably be sufficient.

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Historic weather has been requested several times.

So to sum up, why is historic weather important:

  • It has been a familiar feature in other sims (provided for example by Active Sky) for ages. I used it all the time and considered it a matter of course in a flightsim. It’s a shame that the current state of the art flight simulator lacks this feature.

  • Historic weather offers an abundance of different weather to choose from, just by selecting a date and time. Much more than weather presets ever can. And furthermore - different to weather presets - historic weather is realistic, diverse and dynamic.

  • Only historic weather allows to realistically experience any season in the sim - independent from the real world season. With live weather you set the date in the sim to July and still encounter a blizzard over New England when it’s December in the real world.

  • The same goes for the time of day. Historic weather is needed to experience a realistic scenario in any time of the day - independent from the real world time. Weather typically is different at different times of day: At night the temperatures are lower and the air is smoother than in daytime. There is morning fog that dissipates by noon, there is building cumulus in the afternoon. If we ever get gliders we will need the thermals of the daytime. Right now with live weather if you set the time in the sim to noon but it’s night in the real world you will get weather which is just not adequate.

  • Historic weather allows to relive experiences you’ve had in the real world:

You are a passenger in an airliner on a turbulent and stormy approach in the real world and look forward to recreate that approach in the sim when you get home. Impossible with live weather because the weather will have changed by the time.

You enjoyed a scenic ride in a Cessna last summer around some spectactular weather themes and want to recreate that experience a few months later in the sim. Impossible with live weather.

  • Historic weather allows to practice the same flight again and again. Impossible with live weather because the weather will be different every session - and weather presets just don’t offer the dynamic and variety of real historic weather.

  • There have been several threads in the forums where people enthusiastically tried to chase hurricanes. Bad luck for those who didn’t have time for simming at that very time. With historic weather it can be done any time.

  • If you want to do a VFR flight and find that the real world weather is too bad to allow a VFR flight your only choice now is to use a weather preset. How much more enjoyable it would be to just change the date and get realistic, varied and dynamic historic weather allowing for a VFR flight.

  • You don’t have time for a longer flight today but already look forward to the flight you will be doing next weekend. So you already plan that flight, create a simbrief flightplan etc. Just to find that wind, runways, time and fuel calculations will all be wrong when you actually do the flight a few days later with live weather. Only historic weather allows for that.

  • You set up a multileg rotation with an airliner. You are behind schedule on your first flight because of the headwind. But you already plan to catch up that time on the return flight thanks to the tailwind. Unfortunately you don’t have the time for that flight today and can only do it a few days later. With live weather your tailwind will be gone.

  • You plan a multileg / multiday VFR cross country trip. Because of your real world obligations a few days in the sim will take you a few weeks in real time. With historic weather you will be able to make these flights in a consistent and immersive weather scenario in the sim. Imagine you land at an intermediate stop with a front approaching on the horizon. You are aware that you need to hurry on the ground to make it out of this valley VFR for your next leg before the front arrives. But when you do that next leg the other day that front will be long gone of course with live weather.

  • Only historic weather allows to pause the flight for more than just a few minutes.

You have set up everything for the approach shortly before your TOD in an airliner, when real world obligations force you to pause the sim. When you continue the flight a few hours later all your approach settings are completely wrong because the live weather has changed.

Even worse, you have to pause your VFR flight midair while flying clear of clouds and find yourself in a thick soup some time later when you return to the sim - unable to continue your VFR flight unless you switch to a weather preset.

  • Historic weather opens up many new opportunities for screenshots and videomakers.

  • Last but not least historic weather simplifies the bugfixing. I remember when we had thunder and lightning out of the blue and Asobo had a hard time recreating this issue because of the ever changing weather conditions. It would have been easy to recreate with historic weather.

Please provide historic weather. It would give so many more possibilities to the sim and bring an already great flight simulator to another level.

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During yesterday’s Q & A, they mentioned looking for use cases for historic weather to get a better idea of what people are looking for; in my case, I might role the date back maybe a few days or a week or two, in order to find more suitable weather if the current conditions aren’t suitable for the plane I’m flying. I might even role the weather back just a few hours to get ahead of a front. In other cases, I might want to fly in a different season and so I might role the weather back a few months. I know I could use a weather preset or configure custom weather, but I like the dynamic aspect of the live weather, and the fact that the weather still varies geographically, which is great on long-distance flights.

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My most important reason for having some sort of historical weather option would be because real weather really gives a realistic weather depiction whereas the presets are obviously the same all over the planet and they feel artificial. I like VFR flying and flying ultra light aircraft but the weather isn’t always appropriate for it, I also hate flying in rainy weather. Now I have to switch to a way less exciting weather preset whenever the live weather isn’t right, but I’d rather have a more varying and realistic real weather dataset from another day.

So for me it isn’t really about having the weather from May 11th 2020 12:35, but having access to more realistic weather situations whenever the current (live) one isn’t appropriate. If some sort of random weather generator that can render realistic non-uniform weather patterns is able to do so, fine. Another option that would suffice my needs would be a database of say 30 wildly varying ‘weather days’ for the whole planet across the year so we can pick a typical summer day for our region or a typical winter day.

In all the time I had activesky throughout the years, I used historic weather exactly 0 times. I always fly real time real weather regardless of my schedules…kudos to whoever does find this useful, but im going to be the one to put my hand up and say let’s concentrate on other things.

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The obvious reason is to fly at anything other than real time with matching environment. Good reasons why people would want that have already been given.
To be able to do that historic weather should at least go back 24 hours, because that’s the scope where one can set time in-sim.

For training or recreating weather, a longer history would be needed. At least a full year would allow us to emulate the weather at any location in any season. I can’t wait for seasons to become available which would make this even more realistic.

Going back longer than a year is mainly interesting for those whishing to emulate a specific event. Whether that is feasible depends on the availability of such historic weather data but off course there is no reason not no start collecting this data already to built up a historic weather library.

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I can fly usually between 6 pm and 9pm local time. Because I fly mostly daytime VFR, there aren’t many places where I can fly. Sadly I am missing most of the globe…

I also would love to have historical weather. It was one of my favorite features of Active Sky. It adds so many more options to use the sim. If it is to recreate a real life flight or recreate a flight in the sim that you’ve done a couple of days before.

And I agree with you guys saying that flying in a place somewhere in the world where you usually can’t fly in real time because of the time difference makes a big difference.

So let’s hope that understanding why we as the community want this will make them put the feature into the sim.

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We don’t even have current weather right yet lol. In fact, people are still complaining about future weather being a problem. In terms of features to me, I think there’s more important things to improve. If it were to be implemented, I can’t see there being “years” worth of data. Maybe keep the last 24hours worth of hi fidelity weather data. And in terms of “historic”, perhaps the option to have a “systems editor” so that a user could do their own research and setup weather systems based on the historic weather they require. Perhaps something to do with mission editor?

This would be a nice feature but belongs on the back-burner until LIVE Weather itself is fixed.

Opposite in fact.
Weather has been considered “spot on” post-update, even I have screenshots of MSFS and MeteoBlue being basically identical.

Yes it is after getting better, along with the icing issue. Regardless, this feature is a “nice to have” in a sea of “improve me nows”.

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Yeah I was happy they addressed this. And it would be great if we could all somewhat agree on the required functionality for this. I will try and make out some points below with how I see it working, please feel free to make further suggestions or improvements.

  1. Adding on to what TunefulGnome96 has said above, it would be amazing if we could have historical weather dating back 1 year. This would allow us to recreate any flight from any season within the last year.
  2. Alternatively, the minimum data required to alleviate timezone issues would be only 24-48 hours, I see this as quite achievable. The main issue I am trying to address is the fact that currently it’s almost impossible to do day time flights in the US while I live in Australia, using live weather. Unless I am up at ungodly hours. And this would be the same for anyone in the US wanting to fly in AU as well.
  3. A good middle ground would be a few weeks or months if possible. This would allow us to recreate flights around recent storms or weather events that we missed because we were working at that time etc.
  4. As a bonus feature I was thinking there could be specific historical events that can be selected from a preselected historical weather option, which could recreate real historical events or famous flights with bad weather etc.

I don’t think there’s much more to add, at the very least if we could start with point 2 and just make it possible for us to roll back the time AND weather in sync a few hours so we can change night to day and have the weather change accordingly to represent the time.

Let me know if anyone has any other ideas.

I made some points on this in another topic, I will copy that in here as well. The main difference I feel with Active Sky and the Meteoblue model is that AS was purely Metar based, and used some fancy merging techniques to transition between the weather reports. Meteoblue is an entire model with lots more data than AS was outputting. This would explain the significant storage or streaming requirements.

With this in mind, as far as functionality goes:

  1. I think it would be amazing if we could have historical weather dating back 1 year. This would allow us to recreate any flight from any season within the last year.

  2. Alternatively, the minimum data required to alleviate timezone issues would be only 24-48 hours, I see this as quite achievable. The main issue I am trying to address is the fact that currently it’s almost impossible to do day time flights in the US while I live in Australia, using live weather. Unless I am up at ungodly hours. And this would be the same for anyone in the US wanting to fly in AU as well.

  3. A good middle ground would be a few weeks or months if possible. This would allow us to recreate flights around recent storms or weather events that we missed because we were working at that time etc.

  4. As a bonus feature I was thinking there could be specific historical events that can be selected from a preselected historical weather option, which could recreate real historical events or famous flights with bad weather etc.

I don’t think there’s much more to add, at the very least if we could start with point 2 and just make it possible for us to roll back the time AND weather in sync a few hours so we can change night to day and have the weather change accordingly to represent the time.

EDIT: I just wanted to say RALF9636 summed it all up pretty much perfectly! In fact 99% of all my flight simming from FSX + Active Sky days were all on historical weather. I only ever used live weather if I was practicing circuits at the local airport on a weekend, when I know I have time to just sit at my PC for awhile.

Historic weather is a must Jörg. No I don’t talk about the weather from 1957 but the weather of the past 24hrs at minimum. If I fly at 23:00 and set my ingame clock to 13:00 live weather is complete nonsense and uselss.

Rex weather and active sky had this in their tools for years. Why can’t MS do this?

If you are incapable of doing this then open up the weather for third parties.

The same for livetraffic. All not practicable for offset time swimming

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Totally agree with most of the points here.

There are many reasons I returned to using x-plane and waited for MSFS to “mature”. I have to say not being able to fly in day-time with day-time weather without compromising with the static presets when simming after work was probably the biggest one. Also the ability to wind the weather back to a time with VFR suitable weather is another BIG one if Asobo requires practial usecases before considering implementation.

I just joined the forum but have to agree this is number one for me. While I am simming at 5pm in the US I would like to fly in New Zealand, England ect. And use real world weather from the last day when it was light outside. Just the previous 24 hours would be fantastic. I haven’t even thought about different seasons until reading this thread. That would be very nice as well.