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Sethos1988

Question regarding weather

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Over the past few days, I spent a lot of time doing up X-Plane with some freeware, some payware, modifying all sorts of things, trying to achieve a great environment for me to do some commercial flights in. Really satisfied with almost every aspect except one; the weather. I picked up SkyMaxx and RWC, due to all the positive reviews and thinking it was the golden combination. Yet I'm seeing massive shifts in weather as new METAR data is downloaded, which also results in a significant stutter. Just last night, my entire game froze for 5 seconds as it weather went from an atmospheric thick soupy fog, to completely clear skies.

 

That is obviously the age-old problem of X-Plane and how it handles weather and tiles, as far as I understand. 

 

Now my question is, what can I do to avoid this situation? I'm honestly not too fuzzed about accurate and ever-changing weather in relation to real-life data. I'm more concerned with having varied weather and wind, that doesn't suddenly change on me.

 

Can you set the game up to download current weather data for the planet upon load, then not have it update, so the weather is varied but doesn't change every time you hit a new tile? Or what is the best approach to avoid drastic weather shifts? is it even possible?

 

My current weather setup is SMP + RWC + NOAA. I'd be willing to look at other weather software, if they can help me achieve what I'm looking for.

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Yes, download real world weather once in the weather window then untick download real world weather.

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Yes, download real world weather once in the weather window then untick download real world weather.

 

Thank you. I had to delete the NOAA plugin as it seemed to block my ability to switch between the various tabs under weather. 

 

However, I just started at Honolulu. Had a nice scattered cloud cover. Took off, got out of the clouds and not 5 seconds later, my game froze for several and the clouds disappeared. I assume this kind of behaviour can't be mitigated somehow? 

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You don't need to remove the NOAA plugin, in fact I'd highly recommend re-installing it as it is (from my experience) still the most reliable weather source available.

 

To get rid of the sudden weather changes, open the RWC menu (plugins > Skymax Pro > Real-world weather) and tick the boxes "always (ignore X-Plane preferences)" and "never change visible weather" (that's the important one!).

This applies when using the NOAA plugin.

 

If you'd rather use X-Planes built-in real weather feature, select "automatic" instead of "always", as well as "never change visible weather", and make sure that you also enable real-world weather downloads in the environment/weather section.

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You don't need to remove the NOAA plugin, in fact I'd highly recommend re-installing it as it is (from my experience) still the most reliable weather source available.

 

To get rid of the sudden weather changes, open the RWC menu (plugins > Skymax Pro > Real-world weather) and tick the boxes "always (ignore X-Plane preferences)" and "never change visible weather" (that's the important one!).

This applies when using the NOAA plugin.

 

If you'd rather use X-Planes built-in real weather feature, select "automatic" instead of "always", as well as "never change visible weather", and make sure that you also enable real-world weather downloads in the environment/weather section.

 

EDIT: Oh, just changed my post as I realised it was a silly question, given what you told me. Using NOAA and the "Always" setting, + "Never Change Visible Weather" (which was on by default), I got a much better result. I do seem to be dealing with some mild performance issues but that could be down to SkyMaxx's coverage area settings (Using 10k sq. km)

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As long as the NOAA plugin is active (all boxes ticked), you don't need to do anything in X-Plane's weather menu. The plugin basically sets the weather options for wind and such according to its own interpretation of the available information (METARs) - that's what you see when you open the weather section, and also the reason why you can't change anything there. Once you've installed the NOAA plugin and set up the RWC options correctly, you don't need to touch any settings - the plugin will automatically download the latest weather data every time you start a new flight.

 

X-Plane's "real world weather" option basically does the same thing, except that its interpretation of weather data seems to be different: for example, instead of turbulence you often get a violent left-right yawing motion, and often enough there isn't any turbulence at all. With the NOAA plugin, winds and turbulence seem a lot more plausible IMO.

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I think since 10.50, winds and turbulence are just fine with X-Plane's real weather. Did around 20 flights and got reasonable turbulence and winds aloft.

 

The problem that remains with NOAA is: sudden visibility changes (this cannot be prevented with RWC's never change ... option, as visibility is handled by X-Plane not SMP). This also renders the integrated visibility limiter function useless, as it only works for the initial metar data (departure airport). Since the author doesn't seem to be commited to pushing updates these days, I think it's useless for now, unfortunately. Unless of course you can live with the abrurpt visibility changes, and the clunky config (too many clicks to do a flight with a standard static weather pattern).

 

You should give the default real weather another chance, it is rock solid with SMP and RWC, I never ever get sudden weather changes, it's the most persistent weather solution there is to date.

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X-Plane weather engine, HD clouds V2 and Real Terra Haze...

 

Looks "OK" but XP really is lacking in the weather generation / cloud rendering department, P3D with Active Sky 16 and the artwork is phenomenal from the footage i have seen, if we could get them sorts of tings in XP and the proper rendering distances then we would be laughing. 

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I think since 10.50, winds and turbulence are just fine with X-Plane's real weather. Did around 20 flights and got reasonable turbulence and winds aloft.

 

The problem that remains with NOAA is: sudden visibility changes (this cannot be prevented with RWC's never change ... option, as visibility is handled by X-Plane not SMP). This also renders the integrated visibility limiter function useless, as it only works for the initial metar data (departure airport). Since the author doesn't seem to be commited to pushing updates these days, I think it's useless for now, unfortunately. Unless of course you can live with the abrurpt visibility changes, and the clunky config (too many clicks to do a flight with a standard static weather pattern).

 

You should give the default real weather another chance, it is rock solid with SMP and RWC, I never ever get sudden weather changes, it's the most persistent weather solution there is to date.

 

Alright, I'll give the built-in another shot. So I switch RWC back to Automatic, download Real-World Weather (then untick to stop sudden updates?) and I should be good? 

 

Wouldn't disabling "Download Latest Data" in NOAA stop the sudden visibility changes or is that inherent to the current METAR, rather than overall update of METAR data?

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Alright, I'll give the built-in another shot. So I switch RWC back to Automatic, download Real-World Weather (then untick to stop sudden updates?) and I should be good? 

 

Wouldn't disabling "Download Latest Data" in NOAA stop the sudden visibility changes or is that inherent to the current METAR, rather than overall update of METAR data?

The problem is switching (flying) between METAR's. Even when you don't use download latest METAR function, you still get the visibility shifts when flying towards a new METAR area.

 

Delete NOAA, set RWC to auto and never change, and SMP will be good, wih X-Plane's real weather or standard weather presets. Hassle free.

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The problem is switching (flying) between METAR's. Even when you don't use download latest METAR function, you still get the visibility shifts when flying towards a new METAR area.

 

Delete NOAA, set RWC to auto and never change, and SMP will be good, wih X-Plane's real weather or standard weather presets. Hassle free.

Is NOAA weather working for the whole world then in 10.50?

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Is NOAA weather working for the whole world then in 10.50?

 

 

I think so, yes. I can confirm it for U.S. and Europe.

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I think so, yes. I can confirm it for U.S. and Europe.

Thanks i fly from UK to EU mostly so good to know.

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UK to EU

 

That is a very contemporary description. Greetings from Germany.

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That is a very contemporary description. Greetings from Germany.

Haha yes it is! 

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I think since 10.50, winds and turbulence are just fine with X-Plane's real weather. Did around 20 flights and got reasonable turbulence and winds aloft.

 

 

We'll have to agree to disagree here. In my opinion X-Plane's interpretation of turbulence and variable winds is way off. I've tried disabling all lua and python plugins, using just SMP + RWC + X-Plane's real world weather, and most of the time I get perfectly smooth air, no matter the weather - alternatively I get wild left-right yawing instead of turbulence which isn't realistic either.

I was flying today and X-Plane's weather isn't even close to reality... The NOAA plugin isn't perfect either (as you've mentioned, the visibility changes are ugly) but the winds and turbulence are a lot more convincing from my point of view.

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I was flying today and X-Plane's weather isn't even close to reality

 

Sorry to hear your results are less than stellar but I see the exact opposite. I follow my flight using PFPX, predicted weather charts along the route and get correct winds at altitude all the way. I also get mild turbulence on many occasions. I haven't purposely flown into high turbulence areas, mainly because the flight planning software or flight plans from flightaware avoid them.

 

As for the NOAA plugin, I can't even use it in 10.50b7. I uninstalled it along with pythoninterface, as it was crashing x-plane.

 

Today I did a flight from KMIA to MKJS. At FL370, off the shores of Cuba, I could see a ridge of cloud out the Captain's window, while the First Officer's side was clear blue skies. I went in to the x-plane weather screen and it fit perfectly what I was seeing out the window. I checked the forecast winds against the PFD, that was also quite close.

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Strange that we're getting such different results. But I should probably clarify my statement - saying that X-Plane's real world weather was "not even close to reality" was poorly expressed on my part. In fact, the clouds and visibility are both pretty good! Considering X-Plane's limitations when it comes to cloud depiction I'm quite happy in this area.

My issues are mainly (variable) winds and turbulence. In these areas, IMO it indeed isn't close to reality. When using the real-world weather option I get perfectly smooth air in most cases, never any wind gusts, turbulence or anything of that kind. It's like the old "on rails" kind of flying we got in FSX before there were any good weather engines... With the NOAA plugin it isn't perfect either but more plausible IMO.

 

Anyway, everyone should use what they feel is best for their simming. My observations are mostly for GA flying, too, so perhaps it's a completely different case with airliners flying at high altitudes.

 

 

 

As for the NOAA plugin, I can't even use it in 10.50b7. I uninstalled it along with pythoninterface, as it was crashing x-plane.

 

Weird, the python interface and NOAA work well for me with 10.50b7... Perhaps you had an old version installed?

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I can also confirm, NOAA works fine in b7 for me too. 

 

I've been going between NOAA and the game's own weather and I honestly, from a visual standpoint, can't see much of a difference. So that's good. I haven't met enough turbulence or windy areas these summer days to give an opinion on the current discussion. However, I might stick to NOAA for a while as X-Plane's flight model lends itself really well to flying in realistic wind settings. The thought of ruining that with an unrealistic representation of wind and turbulence would suck. Then I'll just deal with that NOAA update you're talking about.

 

I really appreciate all the input and the discussion. Coming into X-Plane, I'm just soaking up information, learning-by-trying and seeing what sticks. It's a fantastic game, just wish the weather was a lot better, in terms of performance, depiction etc. then I would drop P3D in a heartbeat. 

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Weird, the python interface and NOAA work well for me with 10.50b7... Perhaps you had an old version installed?

I'll have to look into that for sure. I was certain 10.50b broke it, thanks for letting me know it still works.

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