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Weather shown in 2 biomes
Rain pouring down in Classic

Weather in Minecraft consists of precipitation and storms. Different weather occurs in each biome: snow falls on arctic biomes, rain falls on others, but nothing occurs in Deserts and savannas. In all biomes, weather occurs, darkening the sky and hiding the sun, stars, and moon, every 7 Minecraft days (might differ in some worlds) and continue for 15 minutes. Players who sleep in a bed during weather will wake when it ends. Rain and snow can simultaneously be seen where a snowy biome touches a non-snowy one. Players who have cheats enabled can modify the current weather if they wish, by entering the commands; /weather clear
/weather thunder
/weather rain 60

        Note: 60 is an example of a number of seconds that the weather rain will take place.

Types of weather[edit]

Rain falls in all biomes except Desert, Savanna, and snow-related (Ice Plains, Cold Taiga, etc.) biomes. It soaks Wolves, causes crops to grow, and extinguishes fires (except burning netherrack). It will not cool lava into cobblestone or obsidian. The player can hear rain that hits nearby objects.

Instead of rain, snow falls in the Ice Plains and Cold Taiga biomes. It causes water that does not have a block above it to become ice, as well as covering the top surface of all blocks exposed to the sky in the biome in snow, with the exception of transparent blocks.

During both weather conditions, dark thunderstorms might occur, during which lightning strikes and thunder rumbles. Lightning inflicts two and a half hearts of damage on normal difficulty.


Lightning during a thunderstorm.

Rain and snow[edit]

  • Rain and snowfall are temporary but global occurrences.[1]
  • During rain and snow, thunderstorms become possible.
  • Rain and snow decrease the light level by 3, to light level 12 in full daylight.[2]


  • Thunderstorms are much darker than normal rain, at light level 7 or less. This is dark enough to spawn hostile mobs.[3]
  • Lightning creates fire where it strikes, but the rain usually puts the fire out before it can spread. This can set fire to wooden structures.
  • If Lightning strikes a pig, it morphs into a zombie pigman.[4]
  • If lightning strikes a creeper, it becomes a Charged Creeper and has a much more powerful explosion.[5]
  • Being struck by lightning or standing near a lightning strike deals two and a half hearts of damage, not including damage from the fire.
  • Villagers struck by lightning will turn into witches.

Snow only[edit]



Rain visible as falling underwater
0.26 SURVIVAL TEST 4 Rain was introduced purely for cosmetic purposes. The mechanics were simple, only testing if there is a block above to shelter the rain.
0.26 SURVIVAL TEST 5 Rain is now thinner.
0.27 SURVIVAL TEST 10 F5 now toggles rain.
0.29_01 Rain can now only be toggled in Creative mode.
The feature mentioned above was removed.
During Alpha there was a test for snow. Generating a world during that time brings a 25% chance to get a snowy world, where ice and snow will regenerate. This feature was removed with the introduction of biomes. Despite this, mods could easily re-enable this feature by accessing the particle effects file.
1.5 Rain and falling snow were implemented after a teaser video was released.[7] Rain looks identical to the rain in Classic, but also plays two different sound files.
1.5_01 Fixed a bug where rain fell through certain blocks like glass, stairs and slabs.
1.6 Fixed a bug where the rain seemed to freeze when climbing down ladders until you reached the bottom or changed direction, possibly indicating that you climbed at same speed as the rain fell.
Fixed a bug where rain and snow fell underwater.
Official release
1.3.1 12w23a Weather transitioning was added.
Console Edition
TU1 Added rain.
TU5 Improved the rain edges (when looking up in rain).


Issues relating to "Weather" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • Rain is needed for a thunderstorm to occur, even though lightning can be activated separately using mods or the command /summon LightningBolt.
  • Tamed wolves will run away to shelter during a thunderstorm.
  • If it is raining/snowing and you go to sleep it will most likely have stopped before you wake.
  • Mobs that burn at dawn will not burn if it is raining because they are not in direct sunlight.
  • Rain and Snow will still fall even if you are above the cloud layer. The rain therefore, as can happen in real life, originates in the unreachable upper cloud level represented by the blue sky between the lower clouds turning a greyer color and blocking out the sun, moon, and stars during wet weather.
  • Snow and Rain are both considered the same weather effect. The appearance of rain vs. snow is dependent on biome type.
  • If weather occurs in the Nether and the Void is visible, the Void will constantly flash brightly and no rain, snow, or lightning will be present.
  • Villagers will go inside their houses during Rain, but when it stops, they will come outside again.
  • Weather seems to have a predetermined pattern for every seed. For example, if a thunderstorm happens the second day, if you use the same seed again, it will also happen the second day in that world too.
  • The sound that rain makes is generated by the particles of rain reaching the ground, rather than the event. As a result of this, one can make the aforementioned sound stop playing by turning the particles setting to minimal.