Real weather data is required for weather synthesis, flight planning, and inflight weather monitoring. Ideally all weather related processes would use the same data source. Some weather related or weather processing add-ons can be customized in such a way, while others do not offer the option.
Highly customized weather setup assures consistent weather data for all weather related processes of the flight simulator.
As shown in the illustration above, the central weather source of setup is the 'current weather snapshot' file of Active Sky Evolution. ASE downloads in short intervals the latest weather data from the ASE weather server. The data is used by ASE itself for the weather synthesis, TOPCAT gets METAR and TAF information from that file, and on pilots request the METAR information is displayed on the PM CDU ARCAS page.
The IVAO on-line weather is disabled in the IvAp configuration. The weather settings in FSUIPC are set according to the Active Sky EVOLUTION user manual.
For enhanced weather synthesis, and weather depiction I use Active Sky EVOLUTION. ASE offers tons of features around weather processing and manipulation. However, I use only a few of these features for on-line flying and training purposes. On demand also historical weather information can be retrieved.
The report page with the decoded METAR of EKCH (Copenhagen, Kastrup)
The possibility to have access to the 'current weather snapshot' file of ASE is an excellent way to provide all weather related processes with the same weather data. The second important feature for me is the access to historical weather data for a specific date and time of day in the past. In combination with Instructor Station by Luis Gordo I can simulate approaches and other flight situations with weather situations of my choice.
Active Sky Evolution: http://www2.hifisim.com/node/1044
The PM CDU ARCAS page gets the METAR data normally via pmGetWeather from http://weather.noaa.gov/. Following the approach to have one single source for the weather data I compiled a small WINDOWS application (GetMETAR) which retrieves the data for the PM CDU ARCAS METAR page from the 'current weather snapshot' file of ASE, instead from the NOAA server.