noahjpn

Actieve sky next, a lot of bad weather at high Altitude

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Hi all, 

Couldn’t help but noticed that when flying for example at FL 390, especially in Asia, there are huge bad weather areas. It is a bit annoying because I have to fly around them, and it seems a bit unrealistic to me that there such big areas of bad weather at this altitude. It almost looks like the weather is the same at every altitude. 

Are there any settings that could help me with this?

thanks, 

Noah

Edited by noahjpn

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It's not unrealistic at all.  Check the weather charts for  CB active weather.

 

If you're not into realism, why bother going around the weather then?  Just go through it.  Same differnce

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Turn off live weather and make your own.

* sorry if I sounded flippant, but if you don't like the current real weather, all you can do is turn off active sky or use it to make your own (and there is historical weather on a day that you liked)

Edited by jimcarrel
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24 minutes ago, noahjpn said:

Couldn’t help but noticed that when flying for example at FL 390, especially in Asia, there are huge bad weather areas. It is a bit annoying because I have to fly around them, and it seems a bit unrealistic to me that there such big areas of bad weather at this altitude. It almost looks like the weather is the same at every altitude. 

Are there any settings that could help me with this?

Doesn't sound unrealistic

Windy.com shows *some* bad weather at FL390
https://www.windy.com/?200h,13.923,112.236,3

If you're sure that it doesn't match real world, then:
Are you running live weather in Wx Control?
No Custom Weather Areas active?
Try a re-install of ActiveSky, if that doesn't work.

But I really would check first to see if the real world weather is completely different from what you are seeing in your sim.

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Thanks all for responding so quick! 

It is not the winds that concerns me, but the rain and thunderstorms. 

It could be my lack of knowledge, but are there really so many bad weather areas at such high altitudes? My weather radar on the 777 shows so many thunderstorms. I always thought you were not supposed to fly through them. 

 

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28 minutes ago, noahjpn said:

It could be my lack of knowledge, but are there really so many bad weather areas at such high altitudes?

I think this is it.  No offense at all is meant here.  But, yes, there can be so many bad weather areas at such high altitudes.  It's one of the reasons for ground holds and flight routes that are 50% greater than they would otherwise be as you have to go way around them vs a more direct route.

So as long as the real weather is showing that and you have AS set to use live weather, than yes, I'd say this is correct and definitely possible.  It's mother nature.  Anything is possible.

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It's not unrealisitic at all.

I have been on some flights around Asia and especially in the tropical regions bad weather and thunderstorms can be present up to very high altitudes (also not very nice for the passengers sometimes 😉)

 

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30 minutes ago, Mischung said:

It's not unrealisitic at all.

I have been on some flights around Asia and especially in the tropical regions bad weather and thunderstorms can be present up to very high altitudes (also not very nice for the passengers sometimes 😉)

 

This is especially true during the rainy season which it is right now in parts of Asia.

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I think the technical term for this weather is "monsoon." 😉

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1 hour ago, noahjpn said:

Thanks all for responding so quick! 

It is not the winds that concerns me, but the rain and thunderstorms. 

It could be my lack of knowledge, but are there really so many bad weather areas at such high altitudes? My weather radar on the 777 shows so many thunderstorms. I always thought you were not supposed to fly through them. 

As others have mentioned, thunderstorms in the tropics are frequent and VERY large -- Cbs there can often rise comfortably above FL500. You are absolutely right that you don't want to fly through (or indeed within about 20NM of!) that sort of stuff, and preferably stay upwind. This may lead to some very large deviations from your planned route or it may not even be possible to proceed at all in some extreme cases and a turn back or diversion may be required.

That said, those familiar with operations in that area will no doubt tell you that there is something of an art to interpreting the weather radar -- because there is often so much heavy precipitation around, leaving the weather radar in AUTO can result in a large sea of yellow and red when actually quite a lot of that may merely be harmless rain showers. The key is being able to pick out the dangerous cell amongst the noise.

This may mean that you have to spend a bit of time playing with the tilt and gain controls to evaluate the weather in a more discerning way.

For instance, adjusting the tilt can give you a clue as to the vertical extent of the cell (although don't forget that the nature of thunderstorms is that the majority of the water, i.e. that reflects radar energy well, is found at lower levels and the upper levels where mainly ice is found may not show up at all).

Likewise, slowly reducing the gain will cause the less intense areas to fade through yellow and green and eventually disappear, whilst the really nasty stuff will be last to go.

Just some basic suggestions and I am sure that those with more experience in that area will be able to offer their thoughts and techniques as well.

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15 minutes ago, skelsey said:

Cbs there can often rise comfortably above FL500

Here is the central plains, we can get them up to 65000 ft.

Edited by Adrian123
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2 hours ago, noahjpn said:

It could be my lack of knowledge, but are there really so many bad weather areas at such high altitudes?

Having chased tornadoes in a former career, I can tell you that the weather is absolutely, fantastically insane when you get to know it. It's not at all uncommon for the top of a thunderstorm to be higher than normal airplanes can fly. They've been observed in the neighborhood of FL700, and they will mess you up. Check this story out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Rankin

Guy had to climb above FL450 to avoid a thunderstorm. Then the engine quit and caught fire, and he had to eject, with no pressure suit, and ride his parachute down (and sometimes up thanks to updrafts) through the thunderstorm for 40 minutes while being pelted by hail and almost drowned by rain. Fun times.

 

Edited by eslader
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36 minutes ago, skelsey said:

As others have mentioned, thunderstorms in the tropics are frequent and VERY large -- Cbs there can often rise comfortably above FL500. You are absolutely right that you don't want to fly through (or indeed within about 20NM of!) that sort of stuff, and preferably stay upwind. This may lead to some very large deviations from your planned route or it may not even be possible to proceed at all in some extreme cases and a turn back or diversion may be required.

That said, those familiar with operations in that area will no doubt tell you that there is something of an art to interpreting the weather radar -- because there is often so much heavy precipitation around, leaving the weather radar in AUTO can result in a large sea of yellow and red when actually quite a lot of that may merely be harmless rain showers. The key is being able to pick out the dangerous cell amongst the noise.

This may mean that you have to spend a bit of time playing with the tilt and gain controls to evaluate the weather in a more discerning way.

For instance, adjusting the tilt can give you a clue as to the vertical extent of the cell (although don't forget that the nature of thunderstorms is that the majority of the water, i.e. that reflects radar energy well, is found at lower levels and the upper levels where mainly ice is found may not show up at all).

Likewise, slowly reducing the gain will cause the less intense areas to fade through yellow and green and eventually disappear, whilst the really nasty stuff will be last to go.

Just some basic suggestions and I am sure that those with more experience in that area will be able to offer their thoughts and techniques as well.

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their response. I really do appreciate it. 

So skelsey, would you suggest do decrease the tilt? I never really knew what the tilt did, but I certainly will look into that. 

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Tilt does exactly what it sounds like. It points the radar beam up and down. If you have dual radar displays, this can be really useful because you can have one tilt straight ahead, and the other one pointed slightly downward. Looking at both displays will give you a good picture of what's going on vertically in that storm in the vicinity of your flight path. 

Keep in mind that the tilt is going to show different levels at different distances. If your radar beam is projecting downward, then it will show a few hundred feet below your altitude for returns close to the airplane, but it can be several thousand below for returns far away. A little tilt goes a long way, because you want to be looking fairly far ahead so that you can take appropriate action before you run into the storm.

Another good practice is to tilt where you're going. When you're on climbout, you care about what the weather will be like above you, because that's where you're going, so tilt up. The reverse applies to descent.

If your radar has the option and it's properly integrated with AS (PMDG does this really well), turning on wx+t will give you turbulence indication (purple blotches) - when you see that, you know you want to steer around it because even if it's physically safe to fly through, it will scare your passengers.

Also keep in mind that FSX/P3d model turbulence in a way that looks good on the screen, but isn't realistic. For instance, in light turbulence instead of a gentle 0.5g nudge up or down for half a second, it will give you a massive g spike instantaneously. By the time the plane reacts to it, the g spike is over, so it *looks* like light turbulence, but if you have a passenger comfort-monitoring add-on like FS Passengers or Air Hauler, it will be *interpreted* as severe turbulence. This is why it's generally recommended to turn turbulence way down so that it registers more realistically.

Finally, remember that radar works by bouncing signals off of rain drops. If there aren't any rain drops, you will not get a return. That can get you in trouble, because the air surrounding thunderstorm clouds can be a very severe up or downdraft with no rain in it. So you think everything's fine because you're 10 miles away from the ugly red blotch on your radar, but you're actually entering an unseen convective area and suddenly find yourself getting the stuffing knocked out of you.

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Thank you so much eslader! Your explanation is fantastic! I think I got it immediately! 

So you suggest to turn the wx+t on during cruise, and tilt one of the two radars forward, and the other one down? 

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4 minutes ago, noahjpn said:

Thank you so much eslader! Your explanation is fantastic! I think I got it immediately! 

So you suggest to turn the wx+t on during cruise, and tilt one of the two radars forward, and the other one down? 

One real world technique is to adjust the tilt so that you are just seeing ground returns at the top of the ND. Unfortunately this not modelled terribly well in most FS aircraft, though you can experiment with turning off the ground clutter suppression temporarily and playing around with the tilt.

The idea is that that way the radar beam (which is generally very narrow - imagine shining a torch, or a searchlight) is painting the ground at the far edge of the ND and then as you get closer to the aircraft obviously the beam is progressively higher). Ultimately you want to be trying to 'paint' the 'wet' bit of the storm which is going to be at low to mid levels.

You can then use the display on the other side to look a little higher and/or try and gauge the vertical extent of any build-ups you see, as @eslader suggests.

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19 minutes ago, noahjpn said:

So you suggest to turn the wx+t on during cruise, and tilt one of the two radars forward, and the other one down? 

Yes, that's what I do. The downward tilting one can show you when things are ugly a little below your flight path, and you can make a pretty good guess as to what the winds are doing at your level even if there's not much precip to bounce your straight-ahead beam off of. If it's big and ugly-red just below your flight path, you can be pretty sure it's not gonna be glass-smooth where you are.

I also make use of pireps on Activesky's map. In real life you can call ATC or your company and ask for pireps from planes flying ahead of you, so while real pilots don't click around in Activesky to get information, they do get the information via a method that's unavailable to us in the sim.

The pireps will give you a heads up that things will get bumpy (or icing, or any other adverse condition) long before your radar will, and that lets you choose a more efficient path to steer around the trouble spot. It doesn't always work, of course, because it requires another simmer who has Active Sky and who is willing to take the time to write out a pirep to have been in the area before you got there, but it actually works more often than I would have guessed before I got AS.

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Awesome guys, thanks a lot!

1 hour ago, skelsey said:

One real world technique is to adjust the tilt so that you are just seeing ground returns at the top of the ND. Unfortunately this not modelled terribly well in most FS aircraft, though you can experiment with turning off the ground clutter suppression temporarily and playing around with the tilt.

@skelsey how does the ground show on the ND? And how can I turn off the ground clutter suppression? I only fly the pudgy 737 and 777. 

 

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Is there way to turn off the different weather layers in ASN? I think that might be my problem.

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Look in the AS options - there are MANY things you can do to modify how the weather is presented including adjusting layers.

 

Vic

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4 hours ago, noahjpn said:

Awesome guys, thanks a lot!

@skelsey how does the ground show on the ND? And how can I turn off the ground clutter suppression? I only fly the pudgy 737 and 777. 

 

The ground will show solid returns - in reality the intensity will depend on the type of surface/terrain etc (so mountains may show as red returns etc and you would be able to make out ground features - there is a (probably not entirely apocryphal) story I recall about an FO taking avoiding action on the island of Jersey one night on the way back to the UK.

Unfortunately I have neither the NGX nor the 777 so I can't speak with authority on those types. However, in the sim, as I recall in the PMDG 747 there is a "GC" button which controls the ground clutter suppression, and I am fairly sure that the ground returns appear as a (very distinctive) solid green arc when the radar is tilted appropriately though I hope I'm not misremembering and transposing that memory from another addon!

For what it's worth, the only addon I've ever flown which makes a reasonably realistic effort at terrain returns is the Aerosoft Airbus!

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