Weather transition is not smooth after SU7

I agree, thats why i think they should choose one system instead and improve on that. It must be harder to improve it now when they have two systems in place that needs to work at the same time. Do we need it to be accurate all the time? I think the most important is that it matches between the users and that the weather occuring in the sim is possible at that location.

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Here’s how I would summarize the problems MeteoBlue is facing:

Low-resolution global weather model data can produce a good, realistic depiction of storm systems, fronts, and large-scale weather. For cross-country flying at high altitudes, this is all that is necessary. But for low-altitude VFR flying or IFR approaches and departures, global model data has glaring inaccuracies. Here are some things I’ve noticed in working with the US GFS global model as a meteorologist:

  • Low-level clouds (especially stratus) are very inaccurate. The GFS tends to produce either fog or no clouds. Persistent, widespread stratus is not accurately simulated.
  • Thin fog (mist) is completely missing. The model simply does not depict it or forecast it. It will either put a cloud on the ground (thick fog) or have good visibility unless precipitation is falling. This is exactly how weather looked in MSFS prior to SU7.
  • Haze (smoke or other air pollution related particles) is completely missing from model forecasts. The only things that will affect model visibility are clouds and precipitation.
  • Thunderstorms are not directly simulated. The model can calculate the probability of thunderstorms and the average effect of the storm on the broader atmosphere, but it cannot depict the structure of the storm with any accuracy. This corresponds with MSFS showing lightning with scattered fair weather cumulus clouds at times. In those cases, the model probably indicates an elevated probability of thunder, but its cloud and moisture data do not depict a realistic storm.
  • Terrain-related phenomena (valley fog, mountain-induced clouds and precipitation) are not always correct and sometimes completely missing due to the low resolution of the model.

Overall, while global model data is physically realistic and depicts large scale features well, it has some glaring deficiencies. It will not depict some of the most important types of weather that pilots deal with regularly. So, in my view, some sort of blend between multiple data types is probably preferable, if it could be done well.

High resolution weather models improve on the above points in a few ways:

  • Low-level clouds are more accurate (but far from perfect)
  • Thunderstorms are directly simulated, with realistic structure
  • Terrain-related phenomena (mountain-induced clouds, etc) are far more accurate

But even high-resolution models generally do not simulate haze and mist. Visibility remains very good in the model unless clouds are on the ground or precipitation is falling. High-resolution models are also regional. It requires too much computing power to run a high-resolution simulation for the entire earth. So high-res models usually cover a small subset of the earth. If MeteoBlue incorporated high-res data, they would need to blend it with low-res global data to provide worldwide coverage. The transition from one dataset to another would be hard to smooth out. This is a thorny problem all the way around. But overall, I think it’s the right call to begin blending multiple datasets together. No single dataset has everything necessary to make a realistic flying experience.

In my view, the main problem in SU7 is that the newly-developed data blend was not ready for primetime. It needs a lot more work to make the blend realistic. This should have been kept out of SU7 until MeteoBlue could improve it further. But the general direction they are heading is correct, in my view.


And this is precisely why I am suggesting to use historic data as in 24 or even 48 hour old weather, because this way the weather engine can anticipate and has more data to work with to produce a smooth transition from one weather condition to another. Think of it as a flight path determined by points. If the path only knows the next point you will have a path with harsh turn, when the point after the next one is at a 90 degree angle. If you consider the next and the point after the next one, the path can adjust the path so make the turn more efficiently and natural.

I am no programmer. I only rely on incomplete information by others. But I imagine a weather based on real-life weather (currently) to only be able to rely on “points” for an accurate real-world weather snapshot.

Let me perhaps try again to convince more users around the hard-core base why I believe we shouldn’t be too picky about having the exact same conditions in the simulator at the exact same time we are observing outside our windows.

First of all real world weather is real world wather and doesn’t matter if it’s 2 hours or 2 days old. It still is real world weather. An IFR conndition at EDDF is just as realistic as a CAVOK condition at EDDF. Neither a 234/04 wind nor a 164/10G25 wind fail the test on it being real world weather.
Any condition that can happen at a given location in the real-world CAN be considered real-world weather.

Let’s talk about the term “live”. It seems there might be two different views on what that word means. To some “live” is the equivalent to a sports game being live as in you want to be watching it as they play.
The other meaning (the one I prefer) akin to being “alive” as in acting the way it should be like the real-world weather.
With our current “consumer” technology it appears having both versions of “live” is not possible.

What I feel IS possible however is having a fully dynamic and atmosphere engine that can very well imitate real world weather conditions. I mean it certainly fooled me pre-7.
The previous way of injecting weather had a lot need for tweaking and fine-tuning, but to me it was meant to be the new norm.
I truly believe it IS possible to have a fully dynamic and believable weather engine and provide METAR data. But the METAR and TAF data should be dictated by the simulator weather engine (which would still use real world weather data as a baseline) and not have it the other way around. And yes have it 24 or 48 hours old for it to smoothly transition from one state to another and anticipate better what do do next.
Why 24 or 48?? Because this way we still have time of day (morning/evening) typical weather conditions and still be true to seasons. A typical 21st of November weather is akin to a typical 23rd of November weather for any location.

The only and really only(!!!) reason one would be so persistent to have “live” weather akin to watching a live sports event is for online flying purposes. And for this reason I believe the source for online networks should shift where progress is being made and use METAR and forecasts that are being created within MSFS weather engine. Again this is weather still using real world weather. 24 or 48 hour old real world weather is still real world weather as it’s source. It is just using different techniques to depict it. I see the community as whole, which includes VATSIM, XP, P3D and MSFS. And I believe if progress is being made somewhere, this should be the standard. If MSFS can provide a superior way of simulating weather than online networks should adapt to it, rather than MSFS being forced to adapt to other if progress is halted or even regress is necessary or any other form of bending that causes unwanted and unrealistic side-effects. For a P3D simmer, which weather engine heavily relies on METAR data it doesn’t really matter if these parameters come from the NOAA or from MSFS generated weather, which on it’s own is still using real-world data. So real-world weather data still is provided through a different route and on a different timeline.
Instead of flying with 21/11/21 weather on the 21st, we’d be flying with 19/11/21 weather on the 21st. What difference does it make if “everyone” within the community is using and flying on 19/11/21 weather on the 21st. What difference does it make if everyone within the community is flying in IFR conditions at EDDF, while it’s CAVOK outside?

I am in for any kind of smoothing to get the best of both worlds. What I don’t want to back to however is “weather condition bubbles” around the aircraft. That was one of the best things about MSFS weather. Being able to see the different types of weather conditions from a distance and fly into it. Or see that kind of weather approaching you, while you’re still on the ground. I remember experiencing a change in weather from few clouds to nearly overcast with a transition so seamless I was like a little kid in a toystore.


How can they manage that with METAR is my question? That is the thing we all like with the dynamic weather. Now many want’s to have it static to be able to use VATSIM. I also liked the varied windspeed that was in the sim at release until the su4 got released. I think it was in that the wind got METAR based and static too.

Asobo needs to make it generate own METARS of the weather or something. Or why do we need METAR. Can’t those who controlling in VATSIM start up the sim and look how the weather is at that airport when using?

You made a lot of good points here. I think your insight is correct that a blended data product will be more accurate with smoother changes over time if it uses historical conditions rather than current conditions. The best blended analyses of meteorological data usually have a time lag to take advantage of the most available data and run a high-quality computational blending process.

It will not be possible to produce a perfect system that seamlessly includes both 3-D global model data and 100% accurate conditions at all world airports without any unrealistic artifacts, but the closest way to get there is to use historical data and run a high-quality computer-intensive analysis to smooth out the data. On the other hand, if the community would prefer a depiction of the most recent weather, we will need to accept one of two options: either the weather will not always match the METARs, or there will be unrealistic artifacts in the data in order to force the global model data to match local conditions.

My personal preference is to have current weather with a blended system that nudges the model data to be closer to METARs while smoothing out inconsistencies. This will result in plenty of examples where the sim weather doesn’t match the METAR, but it would be more accurate on average than model data alone. There is no perfect solution here.

I enjoy being able to plan a flight by looking at current weather data, so I would prefer current over historical data. I fully understand that I’m accepting some inaccuracy in the details in order to fly in conditions that generally reflect the current weather.

What about injecting SEPARATELY, meteoblue global data + metar’s visibility?:

For mist, this would be preferable. Any time a METAR reports mist, the new mist/haze system could adjust the visibility to the METAR. Most weather models don’t simulate mist at all. One problem I can anticipate is that at some stations, low visibility is extremely localized. Airports located next to rivers in the eastern US can be covered by very localized fog in the river basin. It would be hard to tweak the blending system so that it doesn’t produce fog and mist that is too widespread.

For haze, I would humbly suggest that MeteoBlue use one of the new aerosol products like the GEFS-Aerosols (produced by the US National Weather Service). It is a global model product that includes chemistry simulation for suspended aerosols (dust, smoke, sand, etc). This would allow a decently accurate depiction of widespread summer wildfire smoke, for example.

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But what makes you think you cannot plan accordingly using weather from a weather-engine that utilizes historical real-world data. In my opinion the ability to plan isn’t by the least affected by the timeline of the real world weather. If you’re a pilot preferring to rely on eyesight for initial assessment of weather conditions than don’t look outside the window, but fire up the sim and observe. Honestly I’d find it much more immersive needing to plan my flight using parameters determined by the conditions in the simulator, because there the results will indeed me more accurate to the environment I am flying. When relying too much on current real-life condition, where the environment works differently you will get a “fax-effect”. A fax always loses information each time it is being relayed. And I see the same happening here, when we use METAR, TAF and any other kind of planning information from a source that works differently to the environment we are flying in. Let’s face it no computer on earth (even if we combine all the processing power), will be able to simulate real world atmospheric dynamics 1:1 with all it’s variables. If however METAR, TAF, etc… are being writen by the simulator you get an unaffected, unfiltered set of information that corresponds to the world you are flying in (in this case the simulator).

For the same reason I kind of prefer AI-buildings on satellite rather than PG-buildings. The latter my look like the real thing, but the former is a better fit for the visual engine of the simulator and has lights honoring the window shapes. Not to mention PG-buildings also suffer from baked static imagery, like window reflections and time-of-day specific coloring. Not to mention the higher resolution of the texturing and modeling and the equally sometimes not so smooth transition from PG to non-PG. While AI-created buildings might not be 1:1 their real counterpart, what really matters is the overall impression of the city, which I believe is well done. A city in Africa looks like a city in Africa and so on.

Oh, I completely agree that it would be possible to plan using historical weather. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t be able to plan that way. My point was more about the experience. To me, one of the biggest joys of MSFS is being able to fly in a way that mimics real-life. If I’m looking at the current satellite image, I can decide “I’d like to fly near that snowstorm and see what the weather is like,” or “The weather outside is lousy. I’d like to do a virtual flight to somewhere warmer.” For me, there’s something cool about flying in the weather that is currently happening – even if it isn’t 100% accurate. I never fly on VATSIM, but I enjoy flying in current weather.


perrry I already know that !
with the “these tools do it well” I mean people should use them if they want to have metar - related weather and leave the forecast (stupid expression) alone, that’s what I meant.
I was one of the first to " run up a storm" in the forums when I heard metar !!! :slight_smile: !
But I am a man of compromise and I am happy when many are happy - and the metar interpolation for certain would have already worked without transition (before SU7)
And the others values could have been added (e.g. visibility layer) if they really worked.
I don’t know if you understood my post above correctly - it was about the METAR not really working or being “useless” for a SIM in terms of visualisation! (as the only source - but the values are certainly helpful as a addition but only if without transition that is also clear )

No I understand your point of view and i am perfect OK with it. But why not instead of using a real-world satellite imagery use the “satellite” imagery in the simulator. And the best part is, you have 1 or 2 days time to actually fly in the weather you just saw. I’d be really disappointed if I couldn’t fly now in a specific condition, because I am at work :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: . What is happening in real life will still happen in the simulator.

Or perhaps have an option to use one way or another. I think historical weather should be a thing in general (but that’s another topic), then I can choose to fly in whatever happened in real-life at any given time. Well however long going in the past is realistic for the servers.
But let the progress that’s being made by MSFS in the community when it comes to weather injection be the standard for online flying. So we can use the best possible way to have weather in the simulator and at the same time be able to fly online on a multi-platform network. It’s a pity to see new and better ways of doing things being held hostage by appeasing the community.

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I 100% support that. Having both historical and current weather options would be great.

That is why the METAR should be accurate to the weather (in this case the simulator weather) and not the other way around. I feel like many people demanding correct conditions and shouting “METAR” are confusing the difference.

Yeah sorry i missunderstood you :blush: I hope they bring it back as it was. This is bad like it is now.

And with realistic and diverse types of clouds !

Weather and clouds are broken now and need to be fixed ASAP. Roll back to the old system if you have to but this is utterly unacceptable. I have no idea how it got released in such an obvious broken state were all clouds touch the ground constantly, wherever you actually are in the world.

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Online ATC relies on all clients (using different simulators) having the same weather information (RW METAR) so METARs derived from dynamic FS weather - that won’t fly with VATSIM et al.

But I’d wish there would be an option to set FS either way because I could see what kind of retrograde step that is when I made a short hop from KTEX to KASE yesterday - haze popping out, different haze popping in, then haze and snow on mountains popping out and then snow popping back in…boo, and I was quite happy not having that kind of crapola in FS so far.

So what I’d like them to do* is that they focus on getting the dynamic, prediction-based weather running satisfactory, then dealing with blending METAR data with that in a separate branch and making that a separate weather option. If people really want to fly with online ATC or insist on half-accurate METAR weather they’d probably be willing to put up with the inherent drawbacks of a METAR-based WX engine, and people who are happy with a dynamic weather system being somewhat less accurate but realistic and who don’t want to fly on VATSIM don’t have to put up with these drawbacks and hickups while they develop that.

  • Yeah I know that this is not going to happen. :slight_smile:
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Why wouldn’t it fly? Vatsim already relies on metar from another dynamic weather situation. I would say metars from a simulation (which is still based on the real world). So the difference is really the source. The quantity and value of the information recieved remains the same. All pilots will still be in the same weather environment, which is what ist most important. Real life weather doesn’t use METARs from earth from another universe to create its weather. So why should a simulator doing so be considered accurate. Again METAR should correctly read the weather and not the other way around.

Perhaps another technique for a weather engine is to base values and let the engine to its thing. Kind of like you only really need three colors to create any color of the entire spectrum. It’s all about the right mixture. What you really need are pressure, temperature, dewpoint and humidity. If you get these four value from real world sources chances are you will get wind, visiblity and clouds that come close enough to what is observed outside. So instead of relying on the METAR to read TCU to produce TCU, the weather engine will produce them by it’s own given the right mixture of these four values. Of course depending one how well the engine is able to interpret and translate these set of values. But then the developers has a better focus on what to work on and improvements can be made more efficiently. You won’t have abrupt changes anymore. Thunderstorms may still be in a lot of places, but at least you also get the visuals reference to them as well and will be displayed on the in-sim METAR.

If you then let it use 48 hour old data and anticipate the next 24 and 48 hours it can then smoothly transition over time.f

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One can’t expect VATSIM to use ‘METAR’ data from MSFS, what about people using different simulators with weather coming from actual METAR?

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That is why I am suggesting that all online networks including vatsim, active sky, and whatever else is in the market use these metar data. Metar data still is metar data. The quantity of the infornation remains the same. It’s just the numbers that are slightly different. In fact the other simualtors could profit from a metar system based on a simulator weather as all the weather station can relay precise information and the maximum amount of data, while it’s real world counterpart may be limit by technology and equipment. Ironically the downside would be that METARs might be too accurate, because it knows exactly what the weather is doing and will do.