Where are the cumulonimbus clouds?

I love the weather engine, it’s the best I’ve ever seen and almost perfect.

The only thing its missing aside from real-world weather fixes and visibility options are ‘cloud types’: I’ve noticed a lack of cirrus and cumulonimbus clouds.

I miss seeing clouds that are sharp at the top and then blur at the bottom with a layer of moderate visibility. I miss fall and cool weather clouds that are really sharp, clear, hi-definition, and clearly defined. The current ones are almost always soft.

I think back to the REX days, and now I don’t see any of these bright white blooming, rigid clouds contrasted against a bright blue sky.



I do get cirrus clouds but it takes some playing around with setting the cloud heights.

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The sim does render both cloud types but they are quite badly represented. Also the ash color of the clouds needs to go.


Can you guys confirm there’s just three layers of clouds available in the weather settings panel?

Confirmed. You can add wind layers but not additional cloud or visibility layers…yet

I was hoping the REX team can improve the current cloud visuals but they said the cloud system for FS2020 is shader based. I’m still hoping these can be improved so everything is not “rounded” shapes all the time and we get those high crisp ice clouds like OP posted. But with that said, I’m loving flying through these FS2020 cloud systems.

Don’t know if they’re already in the sim, but I would also love to see fractus clouds.

Don’t forget lenticular clouds, (wave soaring gliders) and cirrostratus, the later so we can have halo’s around the Sun and Moon! :grinning: It would be great to see a Cb with a nice icy anvil top drifting down wind. Charles


Bumping this as it’s really beginning to hit me that I’ve yet to I see any cirrus clouds. They should be doable, no?

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Don’t like the skies that look like you are sourrounded by errupting volcanos? :wink:
(sorry the sarcasm. At this point, I just can’t take the sim seriuous anymore)

The sim bases the cloud shapes on layer thickness, coverage, altitude, and when the cloud layers are close to each other they interact - sort of stretch towards each other with towers of cloud etc. So that’s pretty cool, and if you just sit on the tarmac and play with the settings you can usually get something close to what you’re looking for, even if you need to get two layers overlapping.

But I agree, the logic doesn’t quite go far enough to get you some real world cloud shapes and textures. And I think the shading is usually pretty great on the bottom half of a cloud layer, but something’s not right in the way sunlight hits the cloud tops - the tops are shaded based on thickness of layer, and that works if you’re under the cloud but if you’re above it, the thickness doesn’t matter - it should reflect sunlight and be brilliant white. The fact it doesn’t always work like that makes it look like ash, which has different reflective properties.

Agree, we definitely need some true cirrus clouds, to show the beauty of fall and winter!


Definitely need more varieties of clouds! I have flown for about 30 hours and have only seen cumulus clouds, which is not an actual “simulation” of anything, really.


In my opinion upper level clouds just look like flat cumulus. It’d be nice too see more different types of clouds e.g. cirrus!

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Even though the weather is amazing in MSFS I certainly hope Asobo build on the weather systems they have - I saw a video recently of landing a plane in a thunderstorm in MSFS and X-Plane and the effects in X-Plane was so much better - DCS World too (see below) have some fantastic clouds on the horizon (pun intended!).

There’s a distinct lack of effects in MSFS not just for weather so that has to improve. Lightning is off and thunder clouds most of the time looks like it’s time to break out the BBQ. It’s just disappointing at the moment weather is a closed shop and unless Asobo do something about it then it’s not going to change.

Does MSFS still have the best volumetric clouds? - you decide - DCS World 2021 and Beyond…

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hahahaha… i’m sorry:) man, this is from the start of game, all clouds in game for now - is cumulus… we all be happy if something new will out in the future - broken, cirrus, kroken, shmirus :slight_smile: in the game not contrails, i guess by same cause, for now everything looks like clouds can be only in different cumulus - flat cumulus is cirrus, small cumulus is broken :slight_smile: for contrail we need something like cirrus just from the tail lol

Completely agree with you! And those DCS clouds look incredible, the lighting is like nothing I’ve ever seen before…

Now the DCS 2.7 is in open beta and their cirrus cloud is not bad while they have a very good new volumetric cloud system, if not better than MSFS2020. It’s totally doable I guess? Devs in the earlier Dev Q&A did mention some thought about cirrus briefly and that’s it. So when will the cloud variants be updated?

i have p3d screenshot with stuff like this :slight_smile:

You can sort of make cumulonimbus clouds by having two of the cloud layers very tall and overlapping halfway at something like 20,000 ft, fiddling with cover and scatter until it looks about right. But you can’t get isolated cumulonimbus this way, you get groups and a lot of cumulus in between. Ideally the custom weather system needs some rethinking, because the cover and scatter behave a bit weirdly.