Where are the thunder and lightning...?

Does anybody know what metric triggers lightning generation in the sim?

1 Like

If anyone can find a sustained line of lightning producing storms somewhere in the world……can you post it here? Really curious to experience something other then rain in Live Weather.


There’s currently Live Weather lightning located at: 1° 40’ 2.23" N 77° 44’ 15.83" W

The clouds producing it are weak sauce, but it’s there and pretty frequent.

A fairly easy way to find lightning is to click around on the World Map in the tropics (equatorial South America in this case) where there’s some clouds depicted. If you have Live Weather selected in the weather options, you may eventually see the weather icon on the top right of the World screen update to a thunderstorm. Start the flight there.

Then turn on Developer Mode and open the Weather Debug window. Slew around the immediate area until you see the Ambient Thunder Probability go above 0:

The debug window is pretty interesting to follow. There are very small “hot spots” where the lightning is on. Once you fly off of that spot, all lightning is switched off. Even if you see a cloud produce a bolt, and you immediately fly up to the cloud, the lightning will stop if you’re no longer over a “hot spot”. The hot spot has to be over your aircraft and then distant clouds start producing lightning. I never saw any values other than 0% and 1.67%.

There may also be a bug. I saw a couple of hard transitions. After one transition the lightning started, and then after the other one, it stopped until I hit another hot spot. It was like there were conflicting weather sources it was trying to load or something. I don’t think I was close to a METAR area either.


So if I understand you correctly, when you find a hotspot with lightning, if you fly away from that spot you don’t see lightning in the distance where you used to be? The lightning should stay in that spot whether you are there or not.

From my limited tests, yes.

It’s as if you are standing on a floor of checkered tiles. Step on a black square, and there’s lightning all around you in the room. Step on a white tile, and there’s no lightning at all. It doesn’t matter where the lightning is coming from or where it’s being drawn, it only matters where you are standing. Lightning is simply on or off, and that’s determined by your aircraft’s location.


That’s really bad. :frowning:


It’s always been like this unfortunately, but I have found areas with lightning values around 10-20% on average. Heck I after 50 the lightning starts flashing faster, though that’s rare.

It almost never happens in the US, but if you switch to the precipitation view and look for very areas of very heavy precipitation you’re almost guaranteed to see lightning most of the time. Usually in Australia and Africa.

There is however a persistent bug that causes most thunderstorms to switch to just rain once they hit land.

So from what I gather you will never see an anvil thunderstorm form or been seen due to the weather engine. That stinks.

In FS2004 it was interesting seeing a distant anvil thunderstorm and know you can fly towards in and get a decent representation. Also ATIS reports of “severe thunderstorm in the area” and it would be depicted as such with lots of lightning and rain.

It was an announced feature and they had been working on cumulonimbus with anvils since before the game was launched:


I think the feature got shelved when the game was prematurely kicked out the door back in '20 though, and they had to quickly move on to all kinds of other new features.


Probably too much overhead and suspended on announcement of the new engine: I’m pretty sure they will return.

Wow that looks incredible! Too bad it’s not currently in the sim :frowning:


Let’s hope so because it sucks at the moment. No towering storm cells and I haven’t seen lighting anywhere whatsoever, from the Americas to Japan, all over not a thing. It is a glaring omission and something that really needs to be prioritised and addressed in the interests of giving as real an experience as possible.


I clicked on different airports with lightning reported on world map, icon shows lightning occurring……load up at a parking spot and it’s nothing but rain. So something is clearly broken in Live Weather big time this cannot be just swept under the rug and ignored.


I fired up Rex Weather Force to compare., and Weatherforce is producing the lightning.
Unfortunately it’s also producing CTD’s.

That’s because they inject weather presets based on the actual METAR weather.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Are you on the Beta?

Current version is not supported.

I’ve seen thunder and lightning over Africa (Congo to Tanzania) regularly over the past couple of weeks.

Live weather is broken, if there is TS in only certain areas of the globe and it’s NOT following real time conditions in the continental US.
I’ll use this example: “ there is snow falling in North Pole and Antarctica” but not occurring in Europe or anywhere away from the poles. - if that was happening no one would be happy with how live weather depicts snowfall and demand change.

From the evidence being gathered it appears TS sometimes are generated but that is confined to the equator and the cloud formations are not accurate.
Since I fly almost only in the southeastern US I have yet to see a TS in a year of flying……despite summer days producing them nearly daily and typical cold fronts with storms passing through with TS all year long.


wow would love to see these popping around, True Weather cells