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GEKtheReaper

REX 6 Weather Force

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How is REX Weather Force comming along these days?

Is depiction working? How is the weather morphing between METARs? etc...


Gerald K. - Germany

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Posted (edited)

I am having mixed results with all three MSFS weather engines that I am aware of: MSFS default; REX WF; and Unreal Weather.  At times all three provide reasonably accurate weather.  At times none of them do.  At other times one or two do but the other does not. 

Two days ago over Kansas at 11,000 ft none of them would produce accurate weather other than barometric pressure.  Clouds and rain were not depicted.  Winds aloft were not accurate either by speed or by direction.  I am not going by ATIS.  I now just press the B key to keep my altimeter setting up to date.  It was not matching weather station pressures along the way for any metar over the previous 24 hours, and not matching cloud layers.  Then with all three weather engines, one after another, depicted clouds and conditions would change suddenly.

I am now convinced that it is not the weather engines that are the issue but instead something in MSFS itself that digests and presents the weather. 

Whatever it is, I am not happy with it.  FSGRW and Active Sky spoiled me.  And how long have they been around providing much much better? 

Edited by fppilot
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Frank Patton
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Former USAF meteorologist & ground weather school instructor. AOPA Member #07379126
                       
"I will never put my name on a product that does not have in it the best that is in me." - John Deere

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1 hour ago, GEKtheReaper said:

Is depiction working? How is the weather morphing between METARs? etc...

Does pretty much what it says it does. I'm usually too busy flying the plane to make detailed observations of the transition, but there are many options to make this less abrupt, than it was, say, in XP11. The smoother the transition, the higher the potential impact on fps. Apparently WF is not sufficiently realistic to satisfy a professional meteorologist, but for at least this former GA pilot, it's certainly worth the 20 bucks or so he paid for it. 

PS WF has several options concerning update frequency and speed that may help to get it to hew more closely with the weather at any given point, but there are limitations inherent in all METAR-based systems, and I found that to be true for AS, as well. Not really a problem for me, but others might feel that it's a total deal breaker.

 


John Wiesenfeld KPBI | FAA PPL/SEL/IFR in a galaxy long ago and far away | VATSIM ZNY C1/PILOT P2

 

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Posted (edited)

Mixed. Sometimes it nails it, sometimes it couldn't be more wrong. Last night did a flight where my arrival was clear. When I landed it was overcast. I checked the REX interface and it said clear. Just wasn't injecting properly. Live Weather in MSFS is hit or miss. REX is hit or miss. So I wish I hadn't wasted the money for a second version of hit or miss. Nothing is available at the moment that gives accurate, METAR-based real world weather. 

Edited by haskell
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Eddie
KORF

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There's something I don't understand. The Asobo schedule of upcoming bug fixes and future updates clearly says there's no plan to allow third-party developers access to the weather engine. Yet REX markets products to do exactly that. What am I missing?

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, David Mills said:

There's something I don't understand. The Asobo schedule of upcoming bug fixes and future updates clearly says there's no plan to allow third-party developers access to the weather engine. Yet REX markets products to do exactly that. What am I missing?

REX basically uses workarounds to inject the weather into the sim, leading to all sort of FPS issues and lack of seamless transitions, something that would not happen if documented apis would be used.

With all the problems, I own the product and still use it whenever the (yet not fixed) lightning bug is present. 

Edited by GCBraun
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6 hours ago, fppilot said:

...Then with all three weather engines, one after another, depicted clouds and conditions would change suddenly.

I have never seen MSFS change the weather suddenly.  REX weather on the other hand is atrocious in this regard.


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8 hours ago, GEKtheReaper said:

How is REX Weather Force comming along these days?

Is depiction working? How is the weather morphing between METARs? etc...

If you take off under overcast skies and head towards a clear sky, the clouds will gradually dissipate.  If you are flying from clear sky towards an overcast sky, the effect is jarring.  I was flying towards the coast in blue skies.  I could see my destination airport despite an overcast layer there.  I actually got as far as downwind before the overcast layer began to morph in.  Using MSFS live weather, I could see the coastal overcast in the distance from many miles away.


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3 hours ago, haskell said:

Mixed. Sometimes it nails it, sometimes it couldn't be more wrong. Last night did a flight where my arrival was clear. When I landed it was overcast. I checked the REX interface and it said clear. Just wasn't injecting properly. Live Weather in MSFS is hit or miss. REX is hit or miss. So I wish I hadn't wasted the money for a second version of hit or miss. Nothing is available at the moment that gives accurate, METAR-based real world weather. 

I think its worth pointing out the MSFS live weather will ALWAYS show weather in the distance, so no problems with transitioning from one area to another.  REX on the other hand can't show weather in the distance.  With REX you can often see your destination airport from miles away, even if it has a low cloud layer.  Flying VFR into such an airport may not be possible in real life (or MSFS live weather), but with REX you can get into the pattern, below the cloud before it morphs in!

MSFS is often generally accurate to real world conditions, even if some of the data is old or inaccurate.  However, the weather transitions will always be accurate.  Fly away from coastal fog into clear skies, look back and you will still see the coastal fog.  Do the same in REX and the foggy airport you just left will be visible in blue skies.  I stick with MSFS live weather because the METAR based approach of REX is so unrealistic and jarring.  I have used it when doing pattern work because the transitions are not an issue, but apart from that REX weather is a big no from me.

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38 minutes ago, David Mills said:

There's something I don't understand. The Asobo schedule of upcoming bug fixes and future updates clearly says there's no plan to allow third-party developers access to the weather engine. Yet REX markets products to do exactly that. What am I missing?

That's a great question. The MSFS weather engine is in many ways a work of art, in the sense that it provides an actual atmospheric simulation in which the sky conditions in the distance can be different than those of the local environment. It seems that what tools like WF and Unreal Weather do is provide dynamic "presets" that are as close as they can be to the weather at the closest airport. This means that the entire region visible to the pilot has the same sky conditions. The good news is that the cloud and visibility layers can be depicted in a manner consistent with the METAR, although that depiction will change when the aircraft gets closer to a different airport and WF's weather update timer (variable between 5 and 30 minutes) triggers the actual update. And of course, this sits on top of other update cycles, that include actual METAR updates and synchronization of the REX servers with whatever METAR stream(s) they use.

Similar considerations apply to the real world weather in MSFS with regard to the physical weather parameters of temperature, pressure, and wind speed/direction. Those a putatively pulled from a METAR stream, but that's not true for the sky depiction, e.g., cloud layers and visibility. Those seem to be derived from a model provided by METEOBLUE, and that may or may not comport with the current METAR ground truth. Again there are latency issues along with discrepancies associated with finite time resolutions inherent in the models. It looks absolutely amazing, but it may or may not agree with what the local airport is reporting.

So it's up to the user. Each of these approaches has its strengths and weaknesses, but you have a choice, and choice is good.

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John Wiesenfeld KPBI | FAA PPL/SEL/IFR in a galaxy long ago and far away | VATSIM ZNY C1/PILOT P2

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm still not clear why people are using a product that is so inferior the the MSFS WX system.  No disrespect to REX as I have owned most of their products over the years but their WX engine products have always had issues.  I think the default WX system is the best thing about this new sim.  How long have we waited to be able to see and fly towards a front or fly into a low layer of fog that you can see see out in the distance (have seen this many times in the sim approaching LAX and SFO).  The biggest shortcoming of the default weather is the visibility out to infinity (except in rain) which I hope Asobo can improve on down the road but the REX product cannot even fix that.  I think it's awesome to be in clear skies and then seeing that line of overcast out in front of you.  It really is for me the best part of flying in MSFS.  Jarring WX changes and the same WX in all directions is terrible for a flight sim and we have dealt with the issues for so long in other sims (HiFi has done great work to make a nice WX system in.P3D).  I guess it is about having a current, 'exact' replication of a METAR(?)..but again. if it doesn't even fix the visibility, what is the big advantage??  As stated in the post above, I guess choice is good but still confused why someone would pay for a downgrade of the weather system.....

Edited by Flic1
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Eric

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The main problem with the MSFS live weather (in the opinion of some who have participated in the many previous forum discussions on this topic) is that for situations where one wants the sim weather to be in good agreement with that of the real world (e.g., flying with one of the online networks like VATSIM, IVAO, or PilotEdge), WF can provide better agreement with the METAR-based local sky conditions at the departure and arrival airports. My own experience tends to agree with that, but mileage can vary considerably. Most of the traffic on the online networks is IFR-based and so we're not looking out the window so much. "Immersion" can mean different things in different contexts, I guess.

Personally, I have used WF when online, but probably stick to MSFS real weather otherwise. 


John Wiesenfeld KPBI | FAA PPL/SEL/IFR in a galaxy long ago and far away | VATSIM ZNY C1/PILOT P2

 

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Like many posters here, I've had slightly mixed results from REX/WF ... but, on the other hand, MSFS Live Weather has always been totally inaccurate for me in NZ. Maybe it's to do with the density of METAR stations (not many in NZ) - and that REX makes a better stab at interpolating the [scant] data.

As to frame rates - yes, I do get quite a hit when going through heavy cloud. However, I found that if I use the old "Developer mode hack" (go in and out of Dev mode) then it helps.

 


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5 hours ago, MrBitstFlyer said:

I have never seen MSFS change the weather suddenly.  REX weather on the other hand is atrocious in this regard.

We have then clearly not shared the same experience.  It may be perhaps where we fly.  I have for months requested that those of us posting about live weather experiences include where we are flying.  Based on now over a year of observing I believe there is a regional difference.


Frank Patton
MasterCase Pro H500M; Z490 WiFi MOB; i7 10700k 3.8 Ghz; H100i Pro; 32GB DDR4 3600; RTX 3070 TI 8GB; Gold RMX850X PSU; ASUS VG289 4K 27"
Honeycomb Alpha & Bravo, Crosswind 3's w/dampener.  
Former USAF meteorologist & ground weather school instructor. AOPA Member #07379126
                       
"I will never put my name on a product that does not have in it the best that is in me." - John Deere

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