Just my $0.02, do not mean to offend with what I'm about to type; just "talking shop".
It seems to me that there are two types of players ...
1) The 'role player', who wishes to live in the virtual world and experience it as a world to explore, and not just a game.
2) The 'gamer', who wants to build things, and solve puzzles, and wants to remain seated in front of their computer at all times.
For the #1 crowd, storms are vital, its part of the experience, part of the exploration (including 'hunkering down' and waiting for a storm to pass, or hearing one pass from deep underground). Heck, in many survival movies, being "out in the open" when a storm hits is always a part of the story (by 'storm' it could mean hurricane, acid rain, spawning monsters, etc.). So storms are important, without them, the player is pulled out of the virtual world, and back to their computer chair. Also, the lack of storms makes the game more boring to them.
For the #2 crowd, storms are a delaying tactic, slowing them down, making them less efficient, and not being able to "beat" the game as quickly as they could otherwise. To them, storms are literally pulling them out of their mindset of beating the game efficiently/quickly. Its an annoying delay, not wanted.
I see no way of consolidating/compromising those two points of view, you either have storms, or you do not. Normally, I'm big on "win-win" and compromise, but for the #1 crowd, having them on/off switchable is pulling them out of the virtual world (you can't make storms go away in real life by just throwing a switch).
So the developers, the artists who are creating something for us to enjoy, have a decision to make. What is THEIR vision for what the game should be? Who are they making the game for? The #1 crowd, or the #2 crowd, or themselves (and hence, are they #1's or #2's?)? When that's answered, we'll know if we get storms back or not.