Realistic Dangerous Weather - Physics Simulation

It’s been months now and every new update I think finally we are going to get decent turbulence… but nothing. Only wake turbulence around mountains but flying through a huge cumulonimbus or in high winds with a small GA airplane will give no turbulence. The plane behaves like in clear skies. A small plane flying through a cumulonimbus would mean death in most cases in real life. Flying near big clouds can also be quite challenging. This means that there is absolutely no challenge in bad weather besides bad visibility, only eye candy and no realism whatsoever.

In P3D/XPlane at least with a combination of the simulator engine, Active Sky and camera addons, you’d avoid big clouds in order not to be badly shook or experience downdrafts or be sucked by giant clouds. I have epic memories of using weather radars to save my life, asking for weather avoidance to ATC, see my plane shaking in all directions, having difficulties to control, and so on… IFR isn’t only having 0 visibility, it’s dealing with the forces of nature.

It’s a real pity that we have so beautiful clouds and realistically generated weather and nothing behind that. I seriously don’t understand why this is not fixed. Is there a technical challenge?



Jun '22

while flying through stormcells, big cumulus clouds, strong thermals or just having bad weather in general:

  • possible loss of control
  • if a certain wind speed exceeds the maneuverability of an aircraft, that’s how it should be simulated (please no more sugar-coating)
  • realistic turbulence behaviour
  • realistic up & down draft strength (there is a lot possible in real life)
  • wind shear, gusts, microbursts, hail
  • rain / snow physics effect on the airplane (worse lift, greater drag)
  • Hypoxemia & Oxygen system

In real aviation it’s vital to check the weather and weather forecast / API to make a decision which route you take or if it’s even possible to fly.

It’s not necessary to do this in MSFS because everything listed above is simulated only to a certain extent, just visually or not at all.

It would make flights much more lively and fun in general if you would consider to simulate realistically the dangerous side of aviation. So here is the Wishlist topic. :slight_smile:

I’ve noticed this many times - but the problem is that people sometimes complain about these realistic things “it’s too loud” “too bright” “too dark” “too turbulent” without really having any real flying experience. by that I mean at least also flying as a passenger ! So Asobo is screwing certain effects to a “pleasant” level, whereas I don’t think it’s the right way. maybe there should be a setting that regulates these things, but adjusting them somehow more “believable” is wrong. whereas I never had really heavy turbulence in the clouds. have already sent this to ZENDESK as well.At the last Q&A, Jörg N. also remarked that winds (downdrafts, if I remember correctly) were adjusted downwards because the community would not believe it. Yes, that’s the problem, you don’t have to believe anything but be “afraid” of such clouds.
There should be an Ultra Realistic Weather setting, or a Weather setting with “realistic turbulence” or at least a slider so that people can adjust such things themselves. For my part, I prefer it to be realistic rather than “beautiful” - MSFS is also called a simulator.
In the intro videos all phenomena were mentioned (in the clouds), I didn’t really notice anything but it’s also a WIP !


Make sure your flight model is on Modern, not Legacy. If you are using Legacy because of imported FSX planes, the default planes will not fly / respond correctly. Most common bug reported because of using Legacy with default planes is that the rudder goes full left or right when on AP.

Or Asobo can’t actually get the effect to work properly just like the lightning, surface winds, temps at elevation, icing, live snow coverage, reloading live weather, etc… It wouldn’t surprise me at all that they had turbulence modeled, but it was so wacky, overdone, or unpredictable that they had to disable it because it made the game literally unplayable.


Lol, I’m definitely not using legacy…

I wish this is the issue and not a lack of will to make it realistic.

They showed the wind vectors being perturbed by a massive Cb in the Aerodynamics Feature Discovery video. They can do it. I just think the game is so badly rushed, or the studio understaffed for what they’re attempting to do that they can’t pull off these features properly.


A different opinion here…

That’s a separate issue isn’t it? Terrain induced turbulence vs. weather induced turbulence. The former lets you effectively practice ridge soaring with upslope lift, but the lack of the latter means you can’t also use thermals while soaring.

1 Like

I dunno… flying from KRDM to KSBP yesterday - even at 28,000 feet - there was significant turbulence when moving through or flying above clouds until you got enough separation. Even then, you’d hit an occasional “pocket” of rough air.

This squares with my real life experience flying GA aircraft and riding in the “big tubes.”

While not perfect, it’s not terrible. It has improved from initial release in August.

I spend all of my time down low in the GA aircraft. I’ll give flying around some big convection another go and see what happens, but I don’t ever recall getting knocked around in the sim like I do irl like on a bumpy summer afternoon.

Maybe the turbulence are stronger at very high altitude. I never fly this high… I just know I see 0 effect when I enter a cloud whatever the type, same with winds and windshear.


Yes it’s interesting to see people complaining about terrain induced turbulence. Mountain waves are a real thing that is absolutely essential to be aware of when flying around/above mountains and even far away.


And then there’s this thread… seems expectations/experiences are different for all of us. That’s reasonable, eh?


“Different expectations” are one of the key factors for much of the debate on these forums, I think. That, plus the ‘translation’ from real life to screen being another factor. We all expect real life to translate to the computer screen in different ways.

As the author of the linked post above, I seem recall I was flying the Cub near Niagara Falls when I reported my motion sickness in VR. It was with live weather, late evening, and the terrain is relatively flat. Far away from any clouds and the aircraft was constantly bumping around in various directions. Though as with most ‘standard’ MSFS turbulence (away from terrain updraughts/downdraughts), it’s rather yaw-heavy without many perturbations in other directions.

I know and I understand they want to please « arcade » simmers. Same with the planes that are all very easy to fly (almost impossible to stall/spiral/spin, no torque, no adverse yaw…) They dont want people to find planes too hard to fly. But at least I know that we’ll have third party study level planes in the future. Regarding the weather, it looks like they don’t want to open that to third party developers. Everyone use it differently. For me « realistic » weather is as important as a realistic plane. I want to be able to plan flights based on all weather parameters, including icing, winds, turbulence, clouds… With Active Sky I was able to plan real time flights based on real aviation weather data. The weather engine did such a good job with prediction and interpolation, it usually matched real life conditions with icing, clouds and turbulence.

1 Like

I’ve done multiple VR flights in really mountainous terrain, never had turbulence (except small mountain waves). Will be careful to see if it happens to me too.

could of course also be - have just come across “false” weather again - not the well-known “no real weather bug” but simply false weather - as an example -.

METAR: LOWW 122020Z 24006KT 9999 -RA FEW022 SCT026 BKN040 02/M01 Q1008 R11/520195 R16/590195 BECMG 27018G28KT

(I know MSFS uses Meteoblue data)
crosscheck - Meteoblue APP / Map: quite similar to Metar, RAIN, similar cloud info → than
in the SIM: wind and temperature are correct - no rain, no clouds or only a few !

so it could be that you are right !

A few days ago I was curious about the general turbulence implementation and started experimenting, after reading this post: MSFS is breaking the VR golden rule: don't move the camera, the user is

I used the drone cam to set a fixed camera with a long focal length, and flew towards or away from the camera (as smoothly as I could from this view) to see how much vertical movement the aircraft had. The weather was set manually, with rather strong and gusty winds, but I HAVE come across similar gusty conditions with ‘live weather’ too.


  • In normal, gusty wind conditions, the air appears to have NO vertical movement whatsoever. Just the strong horizontal, yaw-inducing gusts. That said, I was fairly low which may be a factor.
  • Around hills, as we know, there are updraughts and downdraughts. The journey over mountains can be quite a roller coaster ride at times.

Here’s a short video from a couple of the recordings I saved at the time. This shows how the regular wind + gusts appear to be horizontal only, and the last clip shows the strong downdraught on one of the landing challenges. Not very scientific, but if it helps illustrate some people’s points, maybe it’s useful:


I agree that AS was fabulous. In the days of FSX I had things set up to be “as real as it gets” using real weather, community built scenery mods, and - for IFR into Class B airspace - VATSIM for ATC. It was great fun! I could even taxi up to the restaurant at my local strip (KSBP) and park on the apron outside.

MSFS has a ways to go with being “as real as it gets” and when you add the X-Box population into the mix, it may never be quite as robust as FSX with regard to reality. I’m hoping it will be, but time will tell.

1 Like