Known issues with the Real-World Weather feature in Flight Simulator

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SUMMARY

This article describes the known issues with the Real-World Weather feature in Microsoft Flight Simulator. The Real-World Weather feature must retrieve data that is provided by another company from a Web site. If the simulated weather does not match the real world conditions, there are several possible causes that you can investigate. You want to verify that you can connect to the Web site, that the Web site is running, and that you and your Internet service provider (ISP) have not cached the old data. The simulated weather can also be modified by using the Dynamic Weather feature so that the simulated weather changes. When the simulated weather changes, the weather may not match the current real world conditions. The most recent data for some weather stations may be several hours old and may not include conditions at all altitudes.

INTRODUCTION

Starting with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000, you can use the Real-World Weather feature. You can download "real-world" weather data from the Internet and display the data in the flight simulation.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 also included a new feature that is named "Dynamic Weather." The Dynamic Weather feature in Flight Simulator 2004 affects the formation or the dissipation of clouds, the onset of precipitation, and the movement of frontal systems.

For more information about the weather features that are available in Flight Simulator and about how to use them, see the online documentation that is provided with your copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator.

MORE INFORMATION

Occasionally, there may be an issue that keeps Microsoft or partners of Microsoft from providing the current weather. If this issue occurs, the "old" weather is still available. This may cause out-of-date weather data in the simulation that is out-of-date with what you see out the window.

It is also possible for an automated weather reporting station to fail or to be out of service. If this is the case, an automated weather reporting station may send an empty value to the weather server. The server handles this information by ignoring empty weather values and by using the last weather that was reported by that station.

Some automated weather reporting stations in more remote areas of the world only report their weather one or two times a day. This may also cause virtual weather that does not exactly match the current conditions.

How to troubleshoot problems with the Real-World Weather feature

If you feel that the Real-World Weather feature is not performing as expected, the following methods.

Check your Internet connection

To check your connection to the Internet and to the Real-World Weather servers, follow these steps:
  1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  2. Visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://fs2k.zone.com
  3. If you can connect to the Web site and view the Web site content, the weather servers are operational.

Look for cached data

Make sure that your computer is not caching or is not keeping old data instead of downloading new data.

For more information about how to empty the cache, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
260897 How to delete the contents of the Temporary Internet Files folder
You may also want to contact your ISP to make sure that they are not providing you with a cached version of the file.

Adjust the dynamic weather settings

If you are using Flight Simulator 2004 and you feel that weather is changing at the wrong pace or is too static, you may have to adjust the Dynamic Weather feature settings. When the Rate at which weather changes over time slider is set to None, the weather in Flight Simulator 2004 remains the way that you set it in the User-defined weather dialog box or as it was downloaded from the Internet. When this option is set to Mild, Medium, High, or Extreme, the weather conditions change dynamically depending on the atmospheric conditions that are set in the Weather dialog box. To change the setting for the Rate at which weather changes over time slider, follow these steps:
  1. On the main screen, click Settings.
  2. In the Settings dialog box, click Weather.
  3. Move the Rate at which weather changes over time slider to the setting that you want.
  4. Click OK.

Turn on the 15-minute update option

Flight Simulator 2004 also added a feature that permits you to download a new snapshot of real-world weather data every 15 minutes. To download real-world weather data every 15 minutes, follow these steps:
  1. Connect to the Internet.
  2. On the main Flight Simulator 2004 screen, click Create a Flight.
  3. In the Selected Weather box, click Change.
  4. Click the Real-world weather (updated every 15 minutes) option.
  5. Click OK.

Notes about real-world weather

Weather stations in Flight Simulator are located in the same places as real-world weather stations. Real-world weather is only downloaded to those locations in Flight Simulator. If there is no weather station in the real world near your favorite airport, there is no data to download to Flight Simulator. Weather conditions will be interpolated between the weather stations that are nearest to your airport.

Real-world weather data can only be gathered as frequently as the real-world stations report. Some stations report every 15 minutes, while others report every hour or every few hours.

Flight Simulator real-world weather may be slightly different from what other sources report. For example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report may have different information. Different weather services may use different reporting structures.

There are other limitations to the way that weather information is gathered and is reported. For example, METeorological Aerodrome Reports (METARs) do not provide information about upper-level clouds if the lowest observed ceiling is overcast. In that case, only the lowest reported layer is in the data that is downloaded to Flight Simulator.

If you download real-world weather data and then customize the conditions in user-defined weather, the effects of the Real-World Weather feature will be redistributed and diluted to a degree. This does not mean that it is best not to modify the weather, just be aware that the results are not predictable.

For more information about how to troubleshoot problems with the Real-World Weather feature, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
836186 How to troubleshoot issues with the Real-World Weather feature and the News feature in Flight Simulator

Properties

Article ID: 841214 - Last Review: September 28, 2011 - Revision: 5.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Deluxe
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Standard
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: Century of Flight
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 Professional Edition
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