Just adding to the list of issues which might need attention:

I've recently noticed a weird behaviour of rain - was okay on the ground,
but it faded out 300 ft above ground in spite of /environment/rain-norm
being set to some number. After some thinking, I think I understand why:

The current system displays rain only below the lowest cloud layer, no
matter what value is set for /environment/rain-norm. In contrast, Local
Weather conceptually defines 3d volumes inside which rain is switched on,
otherwise it gets switched off.

Previously I didn't bother because I didn't use the layer infrastructure,
so I set the lowest layer altitude to 30.000 ft and this guaranteed that
rain works fine. Now, with the new rendering system, I place clouds
(formally) into the lowest layer, but it gets altitude zero and I keep
track of every individual cloud altitude myself which gets passed to
Stuart's system as an offset to layer altitude zero. But of course, that
now affects rain.

Now, the reason why I don't want to be stuck with a layer based system is
best explained using my test case Maui. Here, the typical situation is
that the layer itself comes in rather low (say 2000 ft) above the sea and
then hits the slopes of Haleakala, in strong winds being pushed up all the
way to 14.000 ft, raining in the process. So, here practically all the
precipitations happens above what one would call 'layer altitude' (the
altitude one would have without the obstacle).

In order to get that with the current system, I'd need to set layer
altitude to the highest point (14.000 ft) and define all clouds with a
negative offset with respect to that altitude.

Another example would be rain inside a Cb tower (I'm not sure what sense
it makes to speak about a layer in the context of Cb anyway).

None of this is a fundamental problem, there are various workarounds in
which to do it, but a clean solution would be an option to have rain
displayed whenever /environment/rain-norm is nonzero and the same for
/snow and /environment/snow-norm, without any regard for layer altitude or
temperature (there is such a thing as supercooled rain droplets at -10
degrees C, it's not automatically and not even usually snow once it drops
below zero). These are things the weather system should be deciding, not
the precipitation rendering routines.


* Thorsten

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