Microsoft Flight Simulator Lets You Fly Through Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian recently impacted Florida, and Microsoft Flight Simulator is letting players safely fly through and observe the deadly tropical storm. Microsoft's impressive amateur flight simulator uses real-world data to generate real-time weather effects, allowing in-game airspace to reflect the world outside a player's window. Last year Microsoft Flight Simulator players tracked Hurricane Ida, and now Hurricane Ian has attracted a similar level of attention from players.


Category 3 Hurricane Ida threatened Louisiana in August 2021, and Microsoft Flight Simulator let players safely track the storm from within a virtual environment. The in-depth simulator makes use of the Azure AI, which is capable of incorporating real-time natural weather and air traffic patterns into the experience. While this technology is incapable of reflecting the exact size and shape of a tropical storm, it does give Microsoft Flight Simulator players the unique opportunity to fly through hurricanes and other storms without risk. Visiting storm sites in-game has become something of a tradition for players, with Microsoft Flight Simulator generating Hurricane Laura back in August 2020 as well.

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As reported by PC Gamer, players are now using Microsoft Flight Simulator to fly through Hurricane Ian and observe the tropical storm. The dangerous natural phenomenon recently made landfall in Florida after moving through the Cayman Islands and Cuba. This extreme weather event can be safely observed within Microsoft Flight Simulator, and many players have recently flocked to the title's virtual recreation of Florida to experience simulated winds, rainfall and lightning. Reddit user Unstopy shared a screenshot showing off dozens of virtual pilots in the area, while Twitter user JBTheExplorer shared some screenshots of the virtual Hurricane Ian.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Recreates Real-World Weather

Microsoft's beloved simulator lets players get a close look at real-world weather patterns, and soon a Microsoft Flight Simulator anniversary update will also let players step into the cockpits of real historical aircraft. Set to launch on November 11, the game's 40th Anniversary update will let players fly around in the legendary wooden seaplane the Spruce Goose. Other old-school aircraft coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator include the iconic Wright Flyer, the single-engine Spirit of St. Louis and a new full-size airliner. The 40th Anniversary patch will also add additional detail to various German cities like Hanover and Cologne.

As Hurricane Ian continues to move, Microsoft Flight Simulator players will be able to track the storm and experience a simulated version of the extreme weather event. While the ability to safely observe the tropical storm is fascinating, it should be remembered that Hurricane Ian is no mere computer game. The deadly tropical storm continues to cause damage along its path, so Microsoft Flight Simulator players should remain cognizant of those actually affected by this natural disaster as they observe it from safety.

Sources: PC Gamer, Unstopy/Reddit, JBTheExplorer/Twitter

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator Database
    Microsoft Flight Simulator
    Original Release Date:
    Asobo Studio
    Microsoft Flight Simulator
    Xbox Series X, PC
    Xbox Game Studios