I propose that there ought to be multiple methods to foreseeing what the weather has been, is, and will be.
_=WARNING, THIS IS A BIG POST=_
This is basically what my previous suggestion mentioned, just in TL;DR format:
* Fade In/Fade Out system to eliminate abrupt storm issues.
* Longer storm events to accommodate for the fade in/out system.
* Partly Cloudy, Mostly Cloudy, and Stormy textures to be swapped during the various storm phases.
* Multiple layers of clouds to enhance the cloudy transitions.
* Possible more weather variants like drizzle, heavy rain, blizzard, hail, etc.
* ~~[Barometers](http://www.reddit.com/r/minecraftsuggestions/comments/17hlz4/barometers/) for testing high and low pressure systems in the air.~~ (not popular)
Now in addition to this, there are many natural occurrences that could be implemented rather simplistically.
Ignoring the various types of cloud formation so to lessen the complexity of cloud generation, there are four Minecraft-possible methods that can be observed: red skies, moon rings, morning dew, and animal behavior.
And for those of you that don't have the time to read this whole page, just the above should do a sufficient job.
• Red skies are notable at sunrise and sunset. They turn red because high pressure winds typically stir up dust particles in the air which makes a commonly noticeable warm orange color. Since clouds in Minecraft move from East to West, the rhyme of "Red sky at night, sailor's delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning" will have to be flipped for our purposes.
So in this case, if there's a red sky in the morning, then that means there isn't any storms on their way. If there's one at sunset though, that means the "high pressure" air has moved passed you, and what follows behind it (on its way towards you) is a "low pressure" system.
Low pressure systems bring water and turbulence. AKA storms a headin' towards yas.
A better rhyme for minecraft could be this: "Red sky at dawn, crafters do fawn; Red sky at night, crafters take flight"
And as to the red(orange) coloring to the sky, this can easily be added as a color gradient overlay for the sun and the surrounding area. Minecraft already has color overlays in all sorts of manners set in place all over the game, so this shouldn't be too complicated to do, only the timing would be an issue.
• Moon Rings have their own rhyme: "Circle around the moon, rain or snow soon." These are seen as a faint circling of light around the moon, and indicate a low pressure system coming soon within the next few days. The low pressure clears out the dust in the air, and crisps the moon to a brilliant white. In the times there isn't any rain on the way, the moon ought to don a slight yellow-red color. The coloring and the moon ring can be added as an overlayed texture for the moon. This is only observable though, if the sky isn't overcast.
• Morning Dew indicates the absence of any storms, contrary to popular belief. If the grass is dry at sunrise, this indicates clouds or strong winds, which means rain is coming soon. A derivative from the grass walking sound could be made to simulate this and switch out purely for the morning, as any other method would be obnoxious. And since the others had a rhyme, here's one too: "Dry grass at dawn, storms soon upon."
• Animal Behavior is where things get tricky, because getting animal AI to register under weather conditions is different to night and day conditions(which they also don't have.... yet). But in the case they do gain them, here's what they'd do: Cows tend to lie down before a thunderstorm, and can also huddle together beforehand, so given there is a cow within' a 32 block radius of another cow, they ought to pathfind to one another and huddle together. If cows are given the ability to lay down, AKA, bend their legs inward, then they can also simulate the first sign too.
"Cows on the ground, thunder will sound."
Birds tend to go silent and seek shelter before any storm hits, so if your chickens stop clucking as much, and decide that anywhere under the sky is bad for them, then there's bound ta be SOMETHING coming your way.
"Chickens hide, get inside."
Pigs tend to dig into the dirt a bit andget in their burrowed hole. So in minecraft, a pig may seek anywhere around them that can cover all four sides of them. If there isn't such a hole, then they ought to go about digging one until they can be surrounded on all four sides. This is apparently so ingrained in them, that even indoors, they will attempt to do this.
"Pig start digging, thunder starts rolling"
Sheep tend to gather together like cows, but they will just stand there, huddled together. In Minecraft, to simulate this, any sheep within a 32 block radius of another ought to pathfind their way towards each other and stand still together.
"Sheep stand together, watch for the weather"
with this, the commands for /weather clear,rain,thunder, ought to be given a variable to depict which state of these it ought to be in. This could take the form of /weather rain 3, where a scale from 0-6 is entered as to what stage to bring about. 0 would be the starting of noticeable signs coming in(a red sunset & a crisp moon), 1 would be when clouds start gathering and the signs become more noticeable(red sunset, crisp moon with ring, wet grass), 2 would be where clouds really start clustering up and nearly filling the sky, and all the signs are present when noticeable(red sunset, crisp moon with ring, wet grass, odd animal behavior), 3 would be the actual storm itself(signs drop except for wet grass and animal behaviors), and 4, 5, and 6 would be the aftermath with the steady reversal of all the signs and the likes.
Now that the four natural observances are voiced, please, let me know what y'all think of this!
I would love to see such things in Minecraft personally, and can easily see all of this being very implementable. The only complicated thing to implement would be the storm systems themselves and the change to clouds.
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