I thought of this while coming in on a bumpy flight into Memphis, TN. The pilot of the airliner brought in the aircraft nicely, despite having to fight it quite a bit during the slowest portion of the approach. Now, Memphis is fairly flat, and the airport isn't near any large buildings so this isn't too much of a problem, but how do pilots practice bad weather approaches and takeoffs? It's kind of dicey to drop a newbie pilot into swirling bad weather, and I know as the aircraft gets smaller handling rough weather becomes harder. Is it done purely through simulators or do they use training flights where they intentionally fly during really rough weather? How does this training differ between general aviation and airline pilots?
I'd imagine flight simulators are good up to a point, but may not simulate all of the bad emergencies that could happen in bad weather (choppy crosswinds, hail, rain, lightning, etc.) so to train properly one would have to go up on training flights. However, I know that is very dangerous, and probably expensive, so it wouldn't be preferable. What platforms do current pilots use to get proficient at bad weather flying?