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Weather settings

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I seem to find that clouds come in banks with some [fairly] clear weather in between them.  Are there any settings that I could tweak that would give me a more overall coverage?  I notice that there are a number of weather settings in the FS9.CFG file but I'm not sure exactly what they all mean.

 

My present settings in the sim are:

 

Sight distance = 100 miles

Cloud draw distance = 60 miles

3-D cloud percentage = 100%

Detailed clouds = Selected

Cloud coverage density = Maximum

 

Many thanks for any help.

 

Dijvid

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Dijvid: such things are best left to ActiveSky :)

I think the FS weather regardless of what you use is not perfect, clouds are just one of the factors. The most annoying thing regarding the clouds is that they pop in and out at times and you virtually never get a perfectly clear sky just like you never get a heavily clouded coverage without breaks. I'm using AS and constantly doubt certain weather info but I'm not going to cross reference what it tells me every time to see if it is correct.

I'm accepting weather for what it is in the current flight sims. I'm hoping the next gen flight sims will make weather what it should be.

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I upgraded from AS v6 to ASE and have no problem with what I see in the sim.

Perhaps I am not as observant...

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Thanks for the replies.

 

I do have AS and REX - bought them when they first came out but I don't use them now.  I wasn't overly impressed with them at that time although they may well have improved a lot since then.  I still use Flight Environment which, if I remember correctly, was first introduced around about 2004/2005.  Yep, it's an old product and easy to use with virtually no overhead when it comes to smooth flying, and gives me sufficient eye candy.

 

Guess I was hoping for some "silver bullet" I could tweak but I think that Skywatcher is right in what he says.

 

Dijvid

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Dijvid,

 

Don't abandon your search, hopefully someone opens this thread with some knowledge and jumps in.

I know I did a search a while ago looking for ways to improve the clouds, kinda like you're doing now. I don't expect there is a miracle solution or it would be common FS knowledge. However, I do know people have definitely done some tweaking with cfg settings. Unfortunately when I searched what looked like a couple of decent web pages that may contain some useful info were dead links. There is some info out there regarding your question. Might be some members here who can share some knowledge even if it only improves the clouds a little.

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I gave up on weather engines a few years ago for all the above reasons - plus I found that I was spending more time fiddling than flying! I have been using FSMetar ever since, and although the website has now disappeared the program is still available on the web archive website (sorry I can't remember the name or address, I'm not at my FS PC just now). FSMetar is a very small program which only downloads weather data and you can choose from NOAA or VATSIM servers (I use VATSIM). For clouds, I use the freeware HD clouds which I tinted myself using Photoshop - Sepia tint believe it or not, which doesn't look right in Photoshop but looks fine (to me!) in FS2004, the tint fades the further away the clouds are. I have visibilty fixed at 30 miles and this, along with the cloud tint and FSMetar data works perfectly for me at all altitudes and conditions - winds aloft, turbulence, thermals and all.

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Skywatcher - I've noticed a line in the FS9.cfg file which is "CLOUD_COVERAGE_DENSITY=8".  8 seems to be a default value and from what I have now read elsewhere most people who have played around with this reckon that the maximum value you can set here is 12.

 

With 8 as the value I would get gaps in the cloud coverage where more clouds would be banked up in a straight line several miles ahead.  Setting this to 12 makes the whole thing much more random and realistic and the straight line of clouds appears not to happen now.

 

I need to experiment more!

 

Dijvid

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Skywatcher - I've noticed a line in the FS9.cfg file which is "CLOUD_COVERAGE_DENSITY=8". 8 seems to be a default value and from what I have now read elsewhere most people who have played around with this reckon that the maximum value you can set here is 12.

 

Excellent! Ok, I'll give it a try as well.

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Excellent! Ok, I'll give it a try as well.

 

Let me know how you get on.  I'm going to try a long flight tonight with heavier weather to see what happens then.  So far I have only done short tests.

 

Dijvid

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Dijvid,

 

Might be able to come to a conclusion pretty quickly on this one!

Just did a flight, used Active Sky Evolution, forecast was for scattered clouds. Scattered clouds is what FS showed me through the duration of the flight.

Here is where it gets interesting and quite logical. Cumulus cloud density appeared a little thicker than normal. Hard to really tell and be certain because they were just scattered clouds so no rock solid conclusion could really be drawn. However, cirrus clouds looked like nothing I had ever seen before! There were many patches of them throughout the sky. I've never seen anything like it in real life or in FS before.
I'll do another flight with the same settings to really confirm but it certainly appears by bumping up the cloud number from 8 to 12 not only do you increase cumulus density (a good thing) you also increase cirrus density to unnatural levels. It is quite logical and likely how it works.

Anyhow, I'll give it another flight and pay particular attention to the cirrus clouds but this is how things appear from my one flight unfortunately. Like many FS tweaks and tweaks in other games, sometimes there are reasons the developers leave the numbers where they are.

 

Let me know if you find anything different.
 

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I upgraded from AS v6 to ASE and have no problem with what I see in the sim.

Perhaps I am not as observant...

To be honest I'm with Froogle. ASE is fine for Simmers who must have clouds. It is not realistic and in fact is remeniscent of flyII. Whereas AS v6 is more realistic in my opinion.

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To be honest I'm with Froogle. ASE is fine for Simmers who must have clouds. It is not realistic and in fact is remeniscent of flyII. Whereas AS v6 is more realistic in my opinion.

 

-1

 

I vole with WingZ on this one.  Never been disappointed with ASE.

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Dijvid,

 

Might be able to come to a conclusion pretty quickly on this one!

 

Just did a flight, used Active Sky Evolution, forecast was for scattered clouds. Scattered clouds is what FS showed me through the duration of the flight.

Here is where it gets interesting and quite logical. Cumulus cloud density appeared a little thicker than normal. Hard to really tell and be certain because they were just scattered clouds so no rock solid conclusion could really be drawn. However, cirrus clouds looked like nothing I had ever seen before! There were many patches of them throughout the sky. I've never seen anything like it in real life or in FS before.

I'll do another flight with the same settings to really confirm but it certainly appears by bumping up the cloud number from 8 to 12 not only do you increase cumulus density (a good thing) you also increase cirrus density to unnatural levels. It is quite logical and likely how it works.

 

Anyhow, I'll give it another flight and pay particular attention to the cirrus clouds but this is how things appear from my one flight unfortunately. Like many FS tweaks and tweaks in other games, sometimes there are reasons the developers leave the numbers where they are.

 

Let me know if you find anything different.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Skywatcher

 

I've now done a flight using Flight Environment and 5/8ths cumulus clouds.  Setting cloud density to 12 changed everything to 8/8ths clouds - OK for stormy weather without the thunder and lightning but not much else!  A setting of 9 I found to be somewhat unrealistic but 10 was the best for me.  Certainly more realistic than the default setting of 8 but not perfect either.  As far as cirrus clouds are concerned I always fly with a 2,000 ft layer at 39,000 ft.  Because I only fly a single prop GA cirrus at that height and a cloud setting of 10 doesn't make any difference to what I see - probably would, though, if I could get that high!

 

I'll have a play with other weather settings in the fs9.cfg file and see what I can make of them.  It'll give me something to do in the forthcoming long winter nights!

 

Dijvid

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FSGRW for me. IMHO cloud depiction is far more realistic than the alternatives.

 

I had a look at their website as well as a few reviews.

 

I download weather metars from an aviation wx website and plug these into the sim manually.  To be honest I couldn't see from the FSGRW screenshots any significant difference from what I am already achieving.  But FSGRW does have the advantage of saving time by doing all the wx settings for you if you wish to buy the software and fly with up to date weather settings.

 

Dijvid

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