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Active Sky coming to MSFS

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, andy1252 said:

What is the deal about historical weather?

I posted this about three years ago:

Quote

It has been requested several times before. So to repeat and sum up, why is historical weather important:

 

- It has been a familiar feature in other sims (provided for example by Active Sky) for ages. I used it all the time and considered it a matter of course in a flightsim. It's a shame that the current state of the art flight simulator lacks this feature.

- Historical weather offers an abundance of different weather to choose from, just by selecting a date and time. Much more than weather presets ever can. And furthermore - different to weather presets - historical weather is realistic, diverse and dynamic.

- Only historical weather allows to realistically experience any season in the sim - independent from the real world season. With live weather you set the date in the sim to July and still encounter a blizzard over New England when it's December in the real world.

- The same goes for the time of day. Historical weather is needed to experience a realistic scenario in any time of the day - independent from the real world time. Weather typically is different at different times of day: At night the temperatures are lower and the air is smoother than in daytime. There is morning fog that dissipates by noon, there is building cumulus in the afternoon. For gliders we need the thermals of the daytime. Right now with live weather if you set the time in the sim to noon but it's night in the real world you will get weather which is just not adequate.

- Historical weather allows to relive experiences you've had in the real world: You are a passenger in an airliner on a turbulent and stormy approach in the real world and look forward to recreate that approach in the sim when you get home. Impossible with live weather because the weather will have changed by the time. Or you enjoyed a scenic ride in a Cessna last summer around some spectactular weather themes and want to recreate that experience a few months later in the sim. Impossible with live weather.

- Historical weather allows to practice the same flight again and again. Impossible with live weather because the weather will be different every session - and weather presets just don't offer the dynamic and variety of real historic weather.

- There have been several threads in the forums where people enthusiastically tried to chase hurricanes. Bad luck for those who didn't have time for simming at that very time. With historical weather it can be done any time.

- If you want to do a VFR flight and find that the real world weather is too bad to allow a VFR flight your only choice now is to use a weather preset. How much more enjoyable it would be to just change the date and get realistic, varied and dynamic historical weather allowing for a VFR flight.

- You don't have time for a longer flight today but already look forward to the flight you will be doing next weekend. So you already plan that flight, create a simbrief flightplan etc. Just to find that wind, runways, time and fuel calculations will all be wrong when you actually do the flight a few days later with live weather. Only historical weather allows for that.

- You set up a multileg rotation with an airliner. You are behind schedule on your first flight because of the headwind. But you already plan to catch up that time on the return flight thanks to the tailwind. Unfortunately you don't have the time for that flight today and can only do it a few days later. With live weather your tailwind might be gone.

- You plan a multileg / multiday VFR cross country trip. Because of your real world obligations a few days in the sim will take you a few weeks in real time. With historical weather you will be able to make these flights in a consistent and immersive weather scenario in the sim. Imagine you land at an intermediate stop with bad weather approaching. You are aware that you need to hurry on the ground to make it out of this valley VFR for your next leg before the bad weather arrives. But when you do that next leg the other day that weather will be long gone of course with live weather.

- Only historical weather allows to pause the flight for more than just a few minutes. You have set up everything for the approach shortly before your TOD in an airliner, when real world obligations force you to pause the sim. When you continue the flight a few hours later all your approach settings might be completely wrong because the live weather has changed. Even worse, you have to pause your VFR flight midair while flying clear of clouds and find yourself in a thick soup some time later when you return to the sim because the live weather has changed - unable to continue your VFR flight unless you switch to a weather preset.

- Historical weather opens up many new opportunities for screenshots and videomakers.

 

 

Even though all this is still completely ignored by MS/Asobo, now it will be possible soon with Active Sky in MSFS! Great!

 

Edited by RALF9636
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39 minutes ago, Fiorentoni said:

Preset is not the correct word for it. Presets are predefined scenarios that are always the same when you select them. AS however creates a "custom preset" once a minute (or whatever the interval is), filled with real life metar data (and other sources), and injects it into the sim. That's exactly how it worked on P3D.
Now you're right in so far that it will inject the local weather globally and changes those injections with transitions. A lot of the value of AS will depend on how well it manages those transitions. It did pretty good on P3D, almost non-noticeable. It might be severely harder with the volumetric clouds in MSFS, but if anyone can do it it's most likely Damian Clark.

Quite an interesting description! 🙂

If the radius of the 'custom preset' is sufficiently far (or large) then you probably won't notice it. 


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--Anders Bermann--
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MrBitstFlyer said:

You mean SHOULD.  Years since I saw a thunderstorm with default, but see often with third party apps.

I’ve only seen thunderstorms outside of METAR coverage areas, they never seem to work properly inside METAR coverage areas.

There was a storm cell, I honestly can’t remember where, it was over an island chain, several months ago. One airport was reporting thunder storms but there was no lightning just clouds, but I moved to another airport further away in the same storm which doesn’t have a METAR, and the thunderstorm showed up fine 

Edited by Tuskin38

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Finally! Its coming our way 🤩


Chris Howard
 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Fiorentoni said:

2) There's no cloud or clear air turbulence in MSFS, none.

There is, but it’s broken in live weather. it works in weather presets. Asobo is working on fixing it in live weather.

However i was flying over a live weather storm in California in the Fenix yesterday and felt some minor turbulence. But I don’t know if the Fenix has its own turbulence thing or something.

im also on the SU15 beta

Edited by Tuskin38

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As much as I’d like them to succeed, and I did use AS in both FSX and P3D, the preset method is a bit of a killer for me. The great thing about default weather, as much as I do hate the lack of variety of clouds, is being able to see different types of weather in the distance and actually flying towards them - don’t think this would allow for it. And with the passive mode I understand they don’t change depiction so still wouldn’t solve lack of cloud variety in the default weather engine.  

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Alexander Rietveld

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7 minutes ago, Tuskin38 said:

There is, but it’s broken in live weather. it works in weather presets. Asobo is working on fixing it in live weather.

...but again it's taking far far too long to fix what they break, which is why we (sometimes have to) rely on 3rd parties to do the job for them.

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Posted (edited)

Not to mention Asobo hasn’t had Thunderstorms with lightning in the game’s Live weather for many updates now. 

Edited by UAL4life

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4 hours ago, MarcG said:

"If anything this is needed for Jorg & Co to get a kick up the backside to make sure MSFS2024 Weather is advanced as possible."

Hence my Signature, Which I hope to ditch soon...


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Jorg/Asobo: “Weather is a core part of our simulator, and we will strive to make it as accurate as possible.”Also Jorg/Asobo: “We are going to limit the weather API to rain intensity only.”


 

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Posted (edited)

No thanks.

Very satisfied with default live weather for my kind of flying (mostly SEP < FL100)

Edited by SAS443
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Posted (edited)

I'm a bit surprised by some of the reactions that I've read here.

This will be a day 1 buy for me. Active Sky has been on my "required flight sim addons" list forever (along with AIG and GSX). Damian just delivers. If he says it's in there and that it works, I believe him. I'm shocked that he's been able to keep a lid on it for this long. Didn't Seb (on second thought, it may have been Jorg) say something about "unlocking the weather APIs" a while back on one of the streams? At the time, it made me wonder if they had worked out something with Damian because as soon as I heard him say that, I thought to myself that Active Sky would be coming out soon after they did it. Maybe they did? Do we know for sure that Damian had to 'hack' his way into the MSFS' internals? Is it possible that the APIs were unlocked and AS is simply using them to control the individual weather elements instead of the internal MSFS weather engine doing it?

A comment on the interface. It's perfect for what it is. I don't think I ever needed to access it during a flight. I only used it to set things up before the flight. Most of the time, it was left in live mode. I only used the interface if I specifically wanted to play around in a snowstorm or thunderstorm on a given day. It's been a couple of years, but I don't even remember having to mess with it to do a flight with historical weather. IIRC, Simbrief took care of that. The simple fact that the interface is the same gives me hope that the product itself will be substantially the same as it was. It worked great as it was. All I ever wanted was for it to move over to MSFS.

I do not think the MSFS weather engine is all that bad for a default simulator weather engine. Asobo put in a weather engine that actually does please 80% of the users, and it does a good job for what it is. It's us in the remaining 20% or so that want a weather engine designed by a developer who wasn't also concerned with developing every other non-weather related aspect of the sim at the same time they are developing the weather engine.

Can't wait. CCs all have no balance at the moment. Bring it on Damian!   

 

Edited by MDFlier
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8 minutes ago, UAL4life said:

Not to mention Asobo hasn’t had Thunderstorms with lightning in the game’s Live weather for many updates now. 

Had thunderstorms with lightning on my flight yesterday from SBBE to SBSN. Maybe you meant it’s lot as prolific as expected ?

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7 minutes ago, MDFlier said:

I thought to myself that Active Sky would be coming out soon after they did it. Maybe they did? Do we know for sure that Damian had to 'hack' his way into the MSFS' internals? Is it possible that the APIs were unlocked and AS is simply using them to control the individual weather elements instead of the internal MSFS weather engine doing it?

No. They're just changing the weather preset options in MSFS. It literally says it on the product page, we don't need to wildly speculate. 

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@RALF9636, @MarcG, and @Fiorentoni,

thanks for your replies, particularly Ralf's detailed list. And yes, now I see why folks consider this important if you do that sort of flying. And as ever, I'm always amazed at the different levels of what people both hope for and expect from their sims - pretty much none of that is of concern to me and I know my fascination with ground level detail is of no interest to a lot of folk either. But here's hoping we all get what we want out of both MSFS2020 and 2024.

Thanks again

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7 hours ago, AnkH said:

As long as it is capable of depicting at least two fully independent weather types on one sky using live weather.g, e.g. with a weatherfront, they will get me as a customer. So far, only the internal weather engine is capable of doing so...

Agree with this and others who mention the importance of weatherfronts.  Going to a metar to metar transition seems like a step back and similar to REX.  If ActiveSky solves this, I'm in for sure.

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