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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 stone shore biomes, mountains, and variants, snowfall can only occur at layer 90 and above. In taigas, giant tree taigas and variants (except giant spruce taigas), snowfall can occur only at layer 120 and above. Snowfall occurs at layer 150 and above in giant spruce taigas (160 in Java Edition). 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.

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.[1] 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 non-transparent blocks.[2] In Bedrock Edition, these snow layers accumulate and grow over time.

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.

Snowflakes fall through ladders, vines, carpets, redstone repeaters, snow layers, mob heads, flower pots and cobwebs.

They are stopped by signs, banners, doors, fence gates, trapdoors, pressure plates, glass panes and iron bars.

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. This feature was eventually removed with the introduction of biomes.
Java Edition Beta
1.5April 08, 2011Rain and falling snow were implemented after a teaser video was released.
Java Edition
1.0.0Beta 1.9 PrereleaseSnowfall destroys redstone, torches, saplings, and minecart rails.
Beta 1.9 Prerelease 5Fixed the above bug.
1.1720w46aCauldrons can now be filled with powder snow during snowfall.
Upcoming Java Edition
1.17.1Pre-release 1Powder snow now fills cauldrons 2 times faster than before.
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.[3]
  • There is a never ending snowfall above a certain Y value, which turns into rain then rain turns into nothing.[needs testing]
  • 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=1000000