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A view of hills during rain.
An example of snow falling.

Weather in Minecraft consists of occasional precipitation and storms that are temporary but global.[1]

Behavior[edit | edit source]

Weather darkens the sky, hiding all celestial bodies (including the sun, stars, and moon) from view. Different weather may occur depending on the biome temperature and the altitude in which it occurs. Regardless of these factors, inclement weather will reduce the light level to 12 in full daylight;[2] severe thunderstorms will darken the land even further, reducing the light level to 10, though the light level from the sky is treated as if it were 5, allowing hostile mobs to spawn.[3] The average storm lasts 0.5 – 1 day, and there is a 0.5 - 7.5 day delay between storms. [Verify]

Players who have cheats enabled can change the current weather if they wish, by entering one of the following commands: /weather rain <time> or /weather thunder <time>, and /weather clear <time> to clear the inclement weather. Note that <time> is the number of seconds that the weather will take place. /toggledownfall will also switch to inclement weather, or vice versa.

Types of weather[edit | edit source]

Rain[edit | edit source]

Weather shown in 2 biomes
  • Occurs in all biomes except snowy and dry biomes.
  • The water from rain showers may hydrate farmland causing crops to grow at a faster rate
  • It will not cool lava into cobblestone or obsidian, but it will extinguish fires (except on burning netherrack).
  • Rain will soak wolves, causing them to shake water off when reaching a dry space.
    • Tamed wolves will run away to seek shelter during a thunderstorm.
  • When fishing in water exposed to rain, the waiting time decreases by 20%.
  • Rain showers and thunderstorms will harm any endermen, blazes, and snow golems who are directly exposed to the rain.
  • The player can hear rain that hits nearby objects within 16 blocks, if all particles are enabled.
  • Exposed cauldrons may slowly fill up with water.
  • Mobs on fire are put out on contact with rain; this prevents skeletons and zombies from burning in daylight.
  • Rain falls through ladders, vines, carpets, redstone repeaters, snow layers, mob heads, flower pots and cobwebs.
  • In Pocket Edition, rain seems to be affected by the wind, i.e the rain appears to fall diagonally and randomly changes direction. It also falls faster.

Snow[edit | edit source]

  • Occurs only in snowy biomes, and in other biomes above a sufficient altitude.
  • Snowfall covers the top surface of all blocks exposed to the sky with snow, but it does not cover transparent blocks[4]
  • Causes water source blocks connected to another block horizontally to convert into ice blocks.
  • Mobs on fire will not be put out on contact with snow.
A lightning bolt strikes a tree. A creeper can be seen hopping about in the woods. If it had been closer to the strike, it would have become charged.

Thunderstorm[edit | edit source]

  • Occurs only during rain and in the same biomes as rain.
  • Villagers will return to their homes until the storm passes.
  • The player can sleep in a bed during a thunderstorm, even if it is daytime, and will wake up when the storm ends.

Lightning[edit | edit source]

  • Lightning occurs frequently during thunderstorms, but very rarely does it strike the player. It can only strike blocks that are exposed to the rain.
  • It deals 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) damage to entities on normal difficulty, not including the damage done by the fire it causes.
  • It creates fire where it strikes igniting any flammable material, but the rain usually puts the fire out before it can spread.
  • It turns creepers into charged creepers, villagers into witches and pigs into zombie pigmen.
  • Lightning will sometimes spawn a "skeleton trap" skeletal horse. Chance is 3.75–7.5% on Easy, 7.5–20% on Normal, and 11.25–33.75% on Hard, depending on regional difficulty.
  • Lightning will light up the sky and the world of any player within a 512 block radius. This does not affect shadows caused by blocks.
  • Thunder can be heard by the player up to 160,000 blocks away from where the lightning strikes, but it can only strike in loaded chunks.
  • Lightning can be summoned manually with /summon LightningBolt.
    • The lightning entity can't be referred to by commands or selectors.

Video[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Rain pouring down in Classic
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.
February 18, 2010 F5 no longer toggles rain.
1.0.4 Winter mode added. While generating a world, there is a 25% chance to get a snowy world, where snow falls continuously. This feature was eventually removed with the introduction of biomes.
1.5 Rain, snowfall, and thunderstorms were implemented after a teaser video was released.[5] 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
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre1 Snowfall destroys redstone, torches, saplings, and minecart rails.
Beta 1.9-pre5 Fixed the above bug.
1.3.1 12w23a Weather transitioning was added.
1.7.2 The light level during thunderstorms now appears much darker, and clouds now turn black.
Previously, the sky would darken somewhat, but the ground wouldn't appear to get darker, even though monsters could spawn.
1.9 15w38a There is a chance (depending on regional difficulty) that a lightning strike will spawn a "skeleton trap" skeletal horse.
16w04a Rain sounds updated. Now more ambient/quieter and sounds more realistic.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.12.1 build 1 Added weather and weather transitioning.
build 2 Leaves in snowy taigas now appear frost covered when snowfall happens.
build 9 Rain is now visible from under water.
Rain should cause less lag.
Console Edition
TU1 CU1 1.0 Patch 1 Added weather.
TU5 Improved the rain edges (when looking up in rain).
TU25 CU14 1.17 Clouds are now black during thunderstorms, thus telling the difference between rain and thunderstorms.
TU31 CU19 1.22 Patch 3 Weather transitioning was added.

Issues[edit | edit source]

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

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • 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.
    • Notch's explanation is that the gray above the clouds during a storm is another layer of clouds and the origin of the rain.[6]
  • Rain and snow are both considered the same weather effect by the game.
    • This explains why there is no /weather snow command.
  • Raindrops fall at approximately the same speed one can descend while flying. This means that it is actually possible to free fall faster than the rain particles.
  • Rain actually falls one block into the void (Layer -1). This can be seen in Creative Mode by floating in the Void. Note that no particles are emitted from the rain, due to the absence of a block below it.
  • Although you cannot see the sun during inclement weather, the glow associated with sunrise and sunset is still visible.
  • The initial occurrence of rainfall is predetermined per seed. For example, if the first rainfall happens the second day in a new world, and another new world is created with the same seed, it will also happen the second day. After the first rainfall, the rain time is random.
  • The sound that rain makes is generated by the particles of rain reaching the ground, rather than the actual rain event.
    • As a result, one can make the aforementioned sound stop playing by turning the particles setting to minimal in the options menu.
  • Lightning does not have an image file associated with it. Thus, it is coded directly into the game engine, allowing for dynamic, realistic lightning.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]