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Real world weather not representative of local conditions.

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26 minutes ago, highflyer2020 said:

I'd be really interested to know from RW pilots if the METAR reports are 100% accurate with what is encountered in the air.

There is a saying amongst people who live in the area of the Front Range in Colorado:  if you don't like the weather just wait 15 minutes.  We can literally go from T-storms, hail and rain to clear skies in a matter of a few minutes.  Honestly I don't think RW or pretend pilots can say w/ any certainty whether or not METAR reports or even what is displayed in MSFS at any one moment is even X % accurate it is such a moving target constantly in flux.  

I've certainly experienced far more interesting and plausible weather in MSFS than in P3D/ASN.  I generally look for more fair weather as someone said to enjoy the scenery below , but more importantly for me I don't have the GPU to process real heavy weather quite yet w/o dialing back the other settings to accommodate it.  I look forward to the day I won't have to trade scenery detail for weather detail quite as much.   

Here's a shot in Denver that hints at what weather can be already in MSFS--never saw anything like it in ASN w/ REX in P3D.

KBJC-Squalls.png

 

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Noel

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37 minutes ago, eslader said:

Yeah, and I give them that credit, but they should also allow us the option to use a true 3pd weather injector if we want to. I find it irritating that AS is pretty much written out of the picture, and for no good reason. Those guys managed to stretch the weather engine in FSX/P3d to get pretty amazingly close to real world conditions given the limitations they were working with. I bet they could do the same in MSFS, and the only thing stopping them is that Asobo has put weather behind a wall.

I'm speculating here, but the reason could simply be that MS/Asobo don't want the cost of supporting another API.  Supporting an API in an app that's continually being updated can be pretty high-cost: you need to make sure that whenever you change something, you don't break third-party apps that use the API, and in some cases it can constrain the changes you can make to the core engine.  This is quite different from FSX, which only had a few releases.  APIs for 3rd party aircraft and scenery are worth that cost, as there is almost unlimited scope for 3rd parties to add functionality there, whereas with the weather engine the cost/benefit case is far less clear-cut: the core engine is already pretty good in how it combines forecast whole-world weather with METAR-based airport data for the critical parameters that affect takeoffs and landings (wind, pressure & temp), and they're working on further improvements.

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I would think the problem is that Asobo have a contract with their weather provider which they value more than the fact that their customers have not been provided with correct weather and think they can stop customers receiving correct weather from others mor easily than break their contract with ttheir provider as we are unlikely to sue them,,,,,well customers only take so much till they decide not to be customers.  I and I am sure others am on the fence.  msfs has great potential but unless some more improves I will return to another sim that meets my needs more once the visual tour begins to pale.


Harry Woodrow

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24 minutes ago, loge said:

you need to make sure that whenever you change something, you don't break third-party apps that use the API, and in some cases it can constrain the changes you can make to the core engine.  This is quite different from FSX, which only had a few releases.

Less so for P3D--3PD's had to do so many updates I don't know how they managed.


Noel

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4 minutes ago, harrry said:

correct weather 

What IS 'correct weather'?  The best you can do is be in the ballpark with weather it's far too dynamic to use a black and white 'correct'.

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Noel

System:  9900K@5.0Ghz@1.21v all cores, MSI MPG Z390M GAMING EDGE AC, Noctua NH-D15S, Corsair Vengeance 32Gb LPX 3200mHz DDR4, Sabrent NVme 2Tb x 2, RTX 2070 Super FE, Corsair RM 850W PSU, Win10 Pro, Dell curved 3440x1440, Saitek Yoke, TQ & Cessna Trim Wheel, UNLIMITED frames vSync to 30Hz in P3D 4.5 & MSFS.

 

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28 minutes ago, loge said:

Supporting an API in an app that's continually being updated can be pretty high-cost: you need to make sure that whenever you change something, you don't break third-party apps that use the API

Except that would be a departure from MS SOP, which seems to be "we'll update what we want, when we want, and who cares what it breaks."  Almost every time there's a significant Windows update I have to go through and re-do some custom settings I have going, like disabling the airplane mode switch on my laptop (because it's busted and keeps turning on and off). MS's MO seems to be update it however they want, and let everyone else sort out the fallout. And the one place that policy might be useful, they're not doing it?  

 

33 minutes ago, Noel said:

Here's a shot in Denver that hints at what weather can be already in MSFS--never saw anything like it in ASN w/ REX in P3D.

The depicted weather is really good in MSFS. Especially stuff like in your screen shots, where you have rain shafts, etc. The problem is that the depicted weather doesn't match reality. Not so much an every 15 minute update, but if it's been raining all day over my house and I when I fly over my house in the sim, it's CAVU, that kinda sucks. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, highflyer2020 said:

I'd be really interested to know from RW pilots if the METAR reports are 100% accurate with what is encountered in the air.

If they are not then I don't see why they are better to use than the default weather engine..

As others have noted, METAR reports only apply to the immediate airport vicinity. The various parameters will be accurate for the exact moment the observation was taken, but not for “real time” conditions that may change over the hour or so until the next observations are taken. (If the weather changes significantly between regularly-scheduled observations, an updated METAR will be issued). Obviously if an aircraft is approaching an airport to land, they will receive an update from ATC regarding the current wind direction and velocity, as well as the current altimeter setting, but since there are no “live human” ATC controllers in MSFS, any reports would be based on the current METAR in any case.

METAR cloud information is limited. It might report a solid overcast at 3000 feet, but there is no indication of what “kind” of cloud it might be. It could be a thin stratus layer less than 1000 feet thick, or it could be the base of a cumulus congestus associated with a major storm system that is 20,000+ feet thick. Scattered or broken clouds will be reported with their actual altitudes, but there will be no information as to what might be above a solid overcast.

The main thing that pilots want to know when looking at a METAR is whether the airport is VFR, IFR or low IFR. For that reason, many METARS will not report clouds above 6000 feet. There might be a solid overcast, but as long as the cloud layer is well above VFR minimums, the METAR might simply report “CLR”. Likewise for visibility. If it is 6 miles or greater, the METAR might simply indicate “P6M” or “10SM”. The visibility might be exactly 6 miles (or 10 miles) - or it might be 80 miles - there is no way to know.

Edited by JRBarrett

Jim Barrett

Licensed Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic, Avionics, Electrical & Air Data Systems Specialist. Qualified on: Falcon 900, CRJ-200, Dornier 328-100, Hawker 850XP and 1000, Lear 35, 45, 55 and 60, Gulfstream IV and 550, Embraer 135, Beech Premiere and 400A, MD-80.

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2 minutes ago, JRBarrett said:

If they are not then I don't see why they are better to use than the default weather engine

You'd use them in conjunction with other real world "current" (much more current than the sim gives us) weather data in order to paint a more complete picture. And I don't think anyone's expecting a 100% accurate realtime weather sim. that's never happened, and it probably never will - at least not until long after all of us are dead. 

But there've been a number of times when the real world weather and the in-sim weather are completely different. I'll fly through a thunderstorm when in real life it's a bright sunny day. Or vice-versa. Once I was flying on a sunny, warm day when in the real world there was a 6" accumulating snowstorm. It's kinda silly when I look at a current weather map and I see a severe thunderstorm warning over a given area, but when I start a flight there, I might see a couple of clouds and maybe some light rain.

And that can especially be a problem when the sim is generating traffic based on real world aircraft.  Those planes are flying based on the real world weather, which means if the wind is shooting straight down runway 18, that's the runway those guys are landing on. If in the sim, landing runway 18 means I have a 20 knot tailwind, that's a problem, because I can either land with a tailwind or I can try to squeeze myself in opposite the traffic pattern, both of which are dumb.

 

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, eslader said:

The depicted weather is really good in MSFS. Especially stuff like in your screen shots, where you have rain shafts, etc. The problem is that the depicted weather doesn't match reality. 

I'm curious as to why that matters.  I can see where it might matter if you were going to practice a landing in MSFS, then run out to your real aircraft before the weather changes and repeat what you practice.   It certainly makes sense the depicted weather should be in the ball park of real weather, but to me that's as close as it needs to be.  To me, once again since 'weather' is so dynamic, the depiction quality is by far the first priority.   It would be desirable to have updates occur more frequently than they apparently do that's a no-brainer.   And also, if Asobo enabled a way to read and convey the weather at the arrival airport to the pilot, this becomes very useful as Jim Barrett clearly outlined.  Since that is known by the sim, it would just be a case of giving a mechanism to access that information.  My guess is that will come at some point as it would be a total piece of cake to implement, or integrate in ATC.  Right now as we know ATC does not pay a whole lot of attention.  That too will be a piece of cake to implement--when they get around to it.  They have a different set of priorities than the seasoned pilots and desktop pilots here have.

I think I answered my own question:  the main reason it matters is because you have no way of knowing what the weather is at your arrival airport.  Once that is solved I see no other reason why it matters, and once again 'correct' and 'exact' matches are not possible currently unless it's assessing all weather in real time over the planet, or at least in your flight plan.

Edited by Noel

Noel

System:  9900K@5.0Ghz@1.21v all cores, MSI MPG Z390M GAMING EDGE AC, Noctua NH-D15S, Corsair Vengeance 32Gb LPX 3200mHz DDR4, Sabrent NVme 2Tb x 2, RTX 2070 Super FE, Corsair RM 850W PSU, Win10 Pro, Dell curved 3440x1440, Saitek Yoke, TQ & Cessna Trim Wheel, UNLIMITED frames vSync to 30Hz in P3D 4.5 & MSFS.

 

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42 minutes ago, Noel said:

What IS 'correct weather'?  The best you can do is be in the ballpark with weather it's far too dynamic to use a black and white 'correct'.

Maybe where you live on the front of a mountain range the weather is constantly changing.  Here in the midwest the METARs are very accurate.  Again, OVC007 in real life and OVC050 in the sim isn't even close.  Here in MN if it's an ifr kinda day, it's gonna be very accurate METARs for the majority of the day.

If there's a bit change in conditions a special will come out about every 6 minutes.


|Ryan Butterworth|

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37 minutes ago, Noel said:

I'm curious as to why that matters.  I can see where it might matter if you were going to practice a landing in MSFS, then run out to your real aircraft before the weather changes and repeat what you practice.   It certainly makes sense the depicted weather should be in the ball park of real weather, but to me that's as close as it needs to be.  To me, once again since 'weather' is so dynamic, the depiction quality is by far the first priority.   It would be desirable to have updates occur more frequently than they apparently do that's a no-brainer.   And also, if Asobo enabled a way to read and convey the weather at the arrival airport to the pilot, this becomes very useful as Jim Barrett clearly outlined.  Since that is known by the sim, it would just be a case of giving a mechanism to access that information.  My guess is that will come at some point as it would be a total piece of cake to implement, or integrate in ATC.  Right now as we know ATC does not pay a whole lot of attention.  That too will be a piece of cake to implement--when they get around to it.  They have a different set of priorities than the seasoned pilots and desktop pilots here have.

I think I answered my own question:  the main reason it matters is because you have no way of knowing what the weather is at your arrival airport.  Once that is solved I see no other reason why it matters, and once again 'correct' and 'exact' matches are not possible currently unless it's assessing all weather in real time over the planet, or at least in your flight plan.

Also matters as the inflight winds determine the fuel that needs to be carried or the cargo unloaded in order to reach the destination and the time of arrival to catch a terminal slot.


Harry Woodrow

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Posted (edited)

Patch was just released addressing update to live weather system to improve accuracy globally

Edited by Flyfaster_MTN002

SAR Pilot. Flight Sim'ing since the beginning.

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On 5/4/2021 at 10:16 AM, Mike S KPDX said:

The down side is that this is not planned to be addressed by Asobo and they have stated that.

Can you show me where Asobo have said they are not improving flight planning?  If true, I have a problem with that.  I know they said 'weather would not be opened up to 3rd party developers' but thats not the same thing.

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|   Dave   |    

I've been around for most of my life.

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1 hour ago, JRBarrett said:

METAR cloud information is limited. It might report a solid overcast at 3000 feet, but there is no indication of what “kind” of cloud it might be.

Both yes and no I think.

Convective clouds are always reported (CB,TCU), also the type of precipitation will give you hints what kind of clouds there are.

Nimbostratus clouds usually gives SN, RA, FZRA, PL

Stratus = DZ, FZDZ, SG

CB = Showers

But it obvously needs to be some sort of precip.

 

 


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