You can’t as far as I can tell. It seems like every facet of Flight Simulator contains a stroke of genius, and then vast expanses that are missing. It’s not that it’s not a simulator, but that it’s only yet partially implemented. That’s what’s disappointing to me, the disparity between what’s magical and what’s totally absent.
To get a thick fog you have to make a preset where a deep cloud layer extends down to the ground and then add heavy precip on top of that. It’s not a realistic representation of fog or easy to control if you want specific visibility conditions, but you can get a gnarly IMC experience out of it at least.
It seams that all the cloud “types” in the game are created by varying the coverage and thickness of a generic cumuliform cloud type. Density, and how turbulent or laminar that density is, composition (partially condensed hazy mist, ice particles, etc), and general behavior or formation process are not implemented. What that means is no consistent stratiform, no thick boundary layer haze, no wispy cirrus. “Fog” is simply blobs of cumuliform on the ground. And “cirrus” is a pancake shaped blob of cumuliform way up high.
The responses from the developers have me a little worried about the future development plans. As if they’re not particularly worried about these missing features. Stratiform and cirrus seam like nitpicks to them, out of the scope of a $60 game, and their primary focus appears to be on the visual aesthetics rather than modeling the mechanics.
Past attempts at flight simulators are what I would describe as very modestly well rounded. Fog was faked with computationally cheap shading. Stratiform was just a solid block, and other clouds were billboards or flat textures. But they were represented even if just in a basic, crude form. This new version, however, is incredibly lop sided with some parts taking huge strides in one direction, but other parts sitting idly and empty. It’s a jarring juxtaposition of “wow!” and “where is this feature?”.
The developers have stated that they didn’t want to half-■■■ or fake anything, so a lot remains on the todo list for future updates. That’s great, but I see a bit of a contradiction there in certain areas. A primary example is the implementation of the water and the A5, where what we wound up with was “fake” water created by averaging a 2D sea texture with a 2D land texture, a throwback to sims of decades past where modern games now deploy volumetric water with depth. And then a seaplane that doesn’t actually interact with this water, but sits on a 2D texture lifelessly except for a canned animation.
Railroaded by daddy Microsoft to deliver a mandatory feature list by a certain date, the developers probably had to eventually compromise on their ideals and were rushed into releasing a minimal implementation.