Using Weather Themes

Instant weather when you want it

Weather themes allow you to take advantage of Flight Simulator's weather features without having to choose all of the settings
on your own.

Think of themes as big blocks of weather with preset conditions. By choosing a theme, you can experience a variety of complex weather conditions with just a few clicks, and without having to set conditions at many individual weather stations. Themes measure 1,000 square kilometers, centered on the location of your aircraft.

When you fly beyond the boundaries of a weather theme, you will enter global weather. For example, when flying beyond the Major Thunderstorm theme, you would see gloomy weather set globally in all other areas. Similarly, the Clear Skies theme is a quick way to clear all the weather around you.

Note: To make weather change over time, move the Rate that weather changes over time slider.

When using real-world weather or themes, the weather settings are different at different weather stations. When using one of these weather options, the settings on the Custom or Advanced weather dialog boxes may not match the conditions displayed in the simulator or on the first weather screen. By default the Custom and Advanced weather dialog do not display conditions at individual stations; select the Specific weather station option on the Custom or Advanced dialog boxes to view conditions at individual weather stations.


To choose a theme

  1. From the main screen, click Create a Flight.
  2. In the Selected Weather box, click Change.
  3. On the Weather dialog box, click the Weather themes option.
  4. Select a theme in the list.
    To the right of the list, a picture represents each theme's weather conditions, and text describes the themes.
  5. Click OK.

Weather Themes

The following table describes the conditions that Flight Simulator's weather themes provide.

Note: When a theme with snow is loaded into the simulator, choosing a different theme will not make the snow on the ground disappear immediately. You'll have to fly away from the area and return or start a new flight before the snow on the ground will disappear.

Theme Name Description General Conditions
Clear Skies (default) A great day for flying: No clouds, calm winds, and mild temperatures prevail. Clouds: None
Precipitation: None
Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: None
Building Storms A hot, humid day with storms building in the area. Clouds: Scattered thunderstorms
Precipitation: Moderate to heavy rain
Visibility: 10 miles/16 kilometers
Wind: Strong and variable
Cold Fronts Fast-moving storms to the east and west offer a flying challenge. Clouds: Broken to overcast
Precipitation: Moderate to heavy rain
Visibility: Variable
Wind: Moderate to strong
Fair Weather Isolated cumulus and high-level cirrus clouds, combined with mild temperatures and light winds, make for a great day for sightseeing. Clouds: Scattered cumulus
Precipitation: None
Visibility: 20 miles/32 kilometers
Wind: Light
Fogged In Low-lying fog obscures the ground, and you can barely make out the runway lights. How proficient are you on instruments? Clouds: Overcast
Precipitation: Light Rain
Visibility: 0.5 miles/0.8 kilometers
Wind: Light
Gray and Rainy Even though the skies are gray, it's still fine for flying. Stay out of the clouds and you'll be okay. Clouds: Broken to Overcast
Precipitation: Light
Visibility: 20 miles/32 kilometers
Wind: Variable
Heavy Snows A heavy snowstorm with high winds and low visibility is closing in on your position from the northeast. Clouds: Overcast
Precipitation: Heavy snow
Visibility: 2 miles/3.2 kilometers
Wind: Moderate
Major Thunderstorm A large area of low pressure has generated a massive storm front with concentrated thunderstorms at its center. Clouds: Thunderstorm
Precipitation: Heavy
Visibility: 3 miles/4.8 kilometers
Wind: Strong and gusting
Stormy Weather Strong winds, clouds, and precipitation will make you earn your pay today. Clouds: Broken to Overcast
Precipitation: Moderate
Visibility: 10mi/16km
Wind: Strong
Winter Wonderland Isolated snow flurries, broken clouds, and gentle winds make for a fun day of winter flying. Clouds: Scattered to Broken
Precipitation: Light snow
Visibility: 10 miles/16 kilometers
Wind: Light

Note: If you load a Weather theme and then customize the conditions in User-defined weather, the effects of the theme will be redistributed and diluted to some degree. This doesn't mean you shouldn't modify weather when a theme is loaded; it just means you should be aware that the results are not entirely predictable.