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A view of hills during a snowstorm.

Snowfall is a type of weather that occurs occasionally in Minecraft.


Snowfall is a temporary, biome-specific occurrence that can happen randomly at any time in snowy biomes. In stony shore[1] and windswept hills biomes, snowfall only occurs above layer 120. In taiga and old growth spruce taiga, snowfall occurs only above layer 160. Snowfall occurs above layer 200 in old growth pine taiga. Snowfall also occurs in frozen ocean biomes, where it only occurs in certain locations, while it rains in others, as a result of a temperature gradient within the biome. In lush biomes, snowfall can occur only at layers above the block height limit. Snowfall does not exist in hot/dry biomes and in other dimensions.

Below are the altitudes at which rain ends and snow begins, depending on the biome. The exact height of the snow line is randomized: take taiga for example, the lowest possible snow layer forms at y level 153, and the minimum height where snow forms at all locations is y level 168, with snow lines ranging between y levels 153 and 168 across different locations.

Biome Layer
y -64 (All altitudes)
y 113-128
y 153–168
y 193–208
Above y 320 (not possible)
Depends on location

The average snowfall lasts 0.5–1 Minecraft day, and there is a 0.5–7.5 day delay between snowstorms. Snowstorms have a small chance to worsen into thunderstorms.

Thunderstorms can be skipped entirely by sleeping in a bed.



Snow falling in a snowy biome.

Snowstorms darken the world, causing the light from the sun to decrease by 3, bringing it to light level 12 in full daylight. Moonlight, however, is not reduced, and remains at light level 4. The sky itself darkens, even in biomes where it does not snow, and in Java Edition, celestial bodies (the sun, moon, and stars) are no longer visible.[3] In Bedrock Edition, the sun and moon are still visible in biomes with no snow. The clouds darken from white to a light gray, but they do not precipitate. While the sun is not visible during snowfall, the glow associated with sunrise and sunset is still visible.

As it snows, snow layers regenerate over all blocks with a solid top surface at integer y-values.[4] In Bedrock Edition, these snow layers accumulate and grow over time, until the accumulated snow makes a snow block and removes it self, repeating the cycle. In Java Edition, snowfall creates one layer of snow by default, and the number of layers that can accumulate can be altered by the game rule snowAccumulationHeight: setting it to 0 makes no snow form at all, and setting it to 8 or above lets snow form up to the level of a full block.

Snow particles[]

Falling snowflake particle effects are visible through the air over all cold regions during snowfall. Unlike with rain, any entities that are on fire are not extinguished on contact with snow. Snowflakes fall in the two middle lines of a block; they do not visibly fall directly onto the player.

List of blocks that can let snow go through[]

Powder Snow[]

During snowfall, cauldrons under the sky slowly fill with powder snow.



Java Edition Alpha
May 20, 2009Notch briefly mentioned, "Winter is an awesome idea. I can see snow and tiles slowly getting covered in a layer of snow. Also, ice on lakes. :D"
Oct 25, 2009Notch comments on a winter themed texture mod.
v1.0.4Winter mode added. While generating a world, there is a 25% chance to get a snowy world, where snow falls continuously.
v1.2.0previewWinter mode is removed, with the introduction of biomes.
Java Edition Beta
1.5April 08, 2011Rain and falling snow were implemented after a teaser video was released.
1.8Pre-releaseDue to a bug in terrain generation, snowfall no longer occurs naturally in any biome.
Java Edition
1.0.0Beta 1.9 PrereleaseAdded ice plains, allowing snowfall to occur again.
Snowfall destroys redstone, torches, saplings, and minecart rails.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 5Fixed the above bug.
1.7.213w36aSnowfall now occurs in some biomes above a certain altitude.
1.1720w46aCauldrons can now be filled with powder snow during snowfall.
1.17.1Pre-release 1Powder snow now fills cauldrons 2 times faster than before.
1.18?The altitude at which rain transitions to snow has been raised to accomodate for the higher terrain.
1.19.322w44aAdded the game rule snowAccumulationHeight.
Pocket Edition Alpha
v0.12.1build 1Added snowfall.
build 9Snow should cause less lag.
Bedrock Edition
1.17.0beta can now be filled with powder snow during snowfall.
Legacy Console Edition
TU1CU1 1.0 Patch 1Added snowfall.


Issues relating to "Snowfall" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • Snow actually falls one block into the void (Layer -1). This can be seen by digging a vertical shaft down in Creative mode, removing the bottom layers of bedrock, and flying down into the void. Note that no particles are emitted from the snow, due to the absence of a block below it.
  • Snow still falls 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 snow.[5]
  • There is a never ending snowfall above a certain Y value due to the temperature gradient within the biome.
  • At extremely high Y values, snow appears to fall more slowly and the texture of the snow particles becomes vertically stretched. The slowed falling speed becomes noticeable at around Y=200000, while the vertical stretching effect becomes noticeable around Y=[[1]]



  1. a b MC-240697 — It snows in the stony shore biomes from Y = 118 and above
  2. MCPE-142225 — Dripstone Caves biome temperature is too cold
  3. https://twitter.com/notch/status/55982751265988610
  4. https://twitter.com/notch/status/55919635593306112
  5. https://twitter.com/notch/status/130230769347067905