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Weather shown in 2 biomes

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

Behavior[edit | edit source]

A comparison of sky light levels during different types of weather.

The type of weather that occurs depends on several variable factors, including the temperature of the current biome, and the altitude in which it occurs.

The initial occurrence of inclement weather is predetermined per seed. For example, if the first storm occurs during the second day in one world, and another world is created with the same seed, a storm will also occur during the second day. The average storm lasts 0.5 – 1 day, and there is a 0.5 - 7.5 day delay between storms. [Verify] Storms can be skipped entirely with the use of a bed.

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.

Effects[edit | edit source]

Inclement weather will reduce the sky light level, depending on the severity of the storm. Because of this, villagers will return to their homes until the storm passes.

The sky itself will darken, to the point where celestial bodies (including the sun, moon, and stars) are no longer visible. The clouds will darken depending on the severity of the weather; note that the clouds themselves do not precipitate. Although the sun is not visible during rain, the glow associated with sunrise and sunset is still visible.

Rain[edit | edit source]

Rain will only occur in biomes with a temperature of 0.15-0.95. Rainstorms reduce the light level to 12 in full daylight.[2]

Rain will put out fires (including flaming arrows[3]). However, it will not put out fires on netherrack,[4] and it will not solidify lava. Mobs that are on fire will be put out on contact with rain; this prevents skeletons and zombies from burning during the day. On the contrary, endermen and snowmen may die due to their weakness to water. Endermen will teleport randomly until they find a place which is dry. Blazes that are brought into the Overworld will die on contact with rain as well.

A view of hills during rain.

Other interesting effects caused by rain:

  • Fish are more abundant during rain.[5]
  • Wolves shake themselves dry if they are not moving (certain versions only).
  • Farmland becomes hydrated if it isn't already.[6]
  • Rain fills up cauldrons with water, albeit slowly.

Rain particles make noise when they hit a block, and this noise can be heard at any point within 16 blocks. These particles (along with the associated sound) can be disabled by setting Particles to "Minimal" in the Video Settings menu.

Snow[edit | edit source]

An example of snow falling.

Snowfall will only occurs only in biomes with a temperature less than 0.15, or above a sufficient altitude. Like rainstorms, snowstorms will reduce the light level to 12 in full daylight.

As it snows, snow layers regenerates over all non-transparent blocks.[7] In Pocket Edition, these snow layers will accumulate and grow over time. Snow will not cover transparent blocks.

Note that any entities 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]

Thunderstorms may occur in any biome. They will darken the land even further than the above storms, reducing the light level to 10; however, the light level from the sky is treated as if it were 5, allowing hostile mobs to spawn at any time of the day.[8]

Lightning[edit | edit source]

Lightning occurs frequently during thunderstorms. It strikes randomly, creating fires where it strikes, igniting any nearby flammable materials, but the rain usually puts the fire out before it can spread. Note that lightning can only strike blocks that are exposed to the rain.

Lightning deals 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) damage to entities on normal difficulty, not including the damage done by the fire it causes. It will turn creepers into charged creepers, villagers into witches and pigs into zombie pigmen.

Lightning may randomly spawn a "skeleton trap" skeletal horse, with a chance of 3.75–7.5% on Easy, 7.5–20% on Normal, and 11.25–33.75% on Hard, depending on the regional difficulty.

Thunder is a sound that occurs every time lightning strikes. It can be heard by the player up to 160,000 blocks away from the position of the lightning strike. Thunder is heard instantly, regardless the player's distance from the lightning strike itself.

Lightning may be manually summoned with the /summon LightningBolt command. While it is summoned as an entity, it cannot 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.[9] Rain looks identical to the rain in Classic, but also plays two different sound files.
Added the ability for lightning strikes to charge creepers and transform pigs into zombie pigmen.
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 rendering brightness is now decreased during thunderstorms. Previously, the sky would darken, but the ground wouldn't appear to get darker, even though monsters could spawn.
The clouds and the sky now appear much darker during thunderstorms.
1.8 14w03a Lightning will now transform villagers into witches.
14w30a Lightning can now be manually summoned with the /summon LightningBolt command.
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 falling into the void.
  • Rain and snow will still fall above the clouds. Notch's explanation is that the gray above the clouds during a storm is another layer of clouds and the origin of the rain.[10]
  • Rain and snow are both considered the same weather effect by the game.
    • This explains why there is no /weather snow command.
  • Rain and snow actually fall 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.
  • 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]