Dynamic weather is here for Dovetail FSW, and its something to get very excited about!
Once you enable DW, the engine reads from thousands of weather stations dotted around the world map and determines the conditions from METAR strings that we have created.
In order to ensure the conditions are not always the same, we have created multiple environments – through the inclusion of seasonal strings. Over time we will expand this data set to provide an incredibly rich and varied flight environment. It wouldn’t make sense for the South East of the UK to continually shower the player with rain – there is a week of moderately warm weather to break it up. (For avoidance of doubt, this is a joke – there are actually two weeks of moderately warm weather in the UK – each year!)
With Dynamic Weather enabled, your flight from departure to destination will ‘read in’ the weather strings from nearby weather stations and determine the conditions. So if you were to travel, for example, from Coventry airport to Heathrow, you could take off in overcast conditions with light rain and arrive at Heathrow in sunny conditions with very few clouds.
En route, the engine will pickup other nearby weather stations and will, after a period of time, try to transition to the visible weather to those settings it has been fed. There is a cycle which waits before reading new conditions (so as not to be constantly transitioning as you fly within reach of lots of stations) and a transition time whenever a change is initiated. The conditions slowly unfold and do not ‘jump’ from one to another.
As this is version 1.0 of dynamic weather, the conditions develop around you and do not become visible off in the distance. You can see the weather developing, but it will be the same in every direction you look – essentially there are no weather fronts. This step has been about preparing the FSW engine, and in particular our Advanced Weather engine powered by trueSKY, for Live Weather.
The aim is to eventually be able to visualize multiple weather types in the same session so we can have foreboding weather fronts for you to try and avoid! This, in what is arguably the most advanced visualization of weather in a flight simulation, is where we’re heading.
If you have any questions on dynamic weather, why don’t you head over to our forums??