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Lightning during a thunderstorm
A lightning bolt strikes a tree (if the lightning had struck closer, the creeper would have become charged)

A thunderstorm is a fairly uncommon weather condition which takes place randomly during rain or snowfall. In thunderstorms, lightning occurs and the maximum light level falls to 10. Even in the middle of the day, hostile mobs will be able to spawn as if the light level were 5. However, fewer mobs will spawn relative to night.

Lightning is a lethal element to the storm. It strikes randomly across the world, creating brief fires. While most are put out almost immediately by the rain, it is possible for it to ignite wood and other flammable blocks.


  • Light level falls to 10 during daytime, and hostile mobs are allowed to spawn as if the light level were 5. Like rain, thunderstorms won't reduce the light level below 4 at night.
  • The Sun, moon and stars become obscured.
  • The player can sleep in a bed during a thunderstorm, regardless of the time of day.
  • Blazes, endermen, and snow golems are harmed by the rain.


  • Lightning creates fire where it strikes. The accompanying rain can usually put out fires before they spread. Overhangs can prevent rain from putting out lightning fires, allowing the fire to spread. Netherrack lit by lightning will not be extingushed by rain.
  • Thunder can be heard by the player up to 160,000 blocks away from where the lightning strikes.
  • If lightning manages to strike a Nether portal frame, it will activate the portal.
  • If lightning strikes TNT, it will detonate.
  • Entities struck by lightning or standing near a lightning strike are dealt 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) points of damage (except pigs and villagers), not including damage from the fire.
    • The area-effect of lightning appears to be calculated from the corner of the block it hit, as if it hit exactly between four blocks. The effect goes out three blocks in all directions from this point, including diagonally, covering a 6x6 block area. Three blocks below this area and nine blocks above are within the effect, and entities such as paintings and item frames will either be destroyed or knocked down, which will destroy any items within an item frame, even if the frame itself is only knocked down.
    • Things like redstone, torches, and snow cover are not directly affected by lightning.
    • If lightning strikes and kills the player, most of the items in the inventory will be lost.[Verify]
    • If lightning strikes a boat, the boat will disappear and usually destroy the drops.
    • If lightning strikes a minecart, it will break the minecart and usually destroy the drop.
    • If lightning strikes a painting or an item frame, it will cause it to fall off of the wall.
    • If lightning strikes a pig, it turns into a zombie pigman.[1] However, if the player's difficulty is on peaceful, the zombie pigman immediately despawns.
    • If lightning strikes a creeper, it becomes charged.
    • If lightning strikes a villager, it turns into a witch. However, if the player's difficulty is on peaceful, the witch immediately despawns.[2] Additional strikes will not make further changes.


  • Lightning strikes do not destroy blocks.
  • Lightning will still occur in biomes with snowfall.[Verify]
  • Lightning can go directly through blocks to hit the ground.
  • As long as the player is within earshot (160,000 blocks), thunder will be heard at the same time as it strikes.
  • Thunder can be heard all the way down to the bedrock layer, even in the Void. Like ambiance, thunder is not an indicator of anything but areas that were struck by lightning.
  • If the player is killed by a lightning strike, the death message will read [player] was struck by lightning.
  • Lightning, unlike other weather, does not have an image file associated with it. Thus, it is coded directly into the game engine, allowing for dynamic, realistic lightning.
  • Forest fires made by lightning are rare unless the lightning strikes underneath a tree, where the rain would not be able to extinguish the fire.
  • If lightning strikes between you and your line of vision to a lit End portal, the portal becomes invisible during the strike.
  • If multiple lightning bolts strike a single villager at the same time, the number of witches spawned as a result is equal to the number of lightning bolts, making it possible, but ridiculously unlikely, to get multiple witches from one villager. This will not work with pig-to-pigman or creeper-to-charged-creeper transformations.
  • Lightning can be summoned with this command: /summon LightningBolt