In older versions of Minecraft, 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 also occurs during the second day. The average storm lasts 0.5 – 1 day, and there is a 0.5–7.5 day delay between storms. 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 [<duration>] or
/weather thunder [<duration>], and
/weather clear [<duration>] to clear the inclement weather. The
<time> parameter is the duration of the weather in seconds.
/toggledownfall[Bedrock Edition only] also switches to inclement weather, or vice versa.
Weather changing can be toggled on or off using the
/gamerule doWeatherCycle true|false command. When
doWeatherCycle is set to
false, the weather does not change indefinitely, unless altered using the
The sky itself darkens, to the point where celestial bodies (including the sun, moon, and stars) are no longer visible. The clouds 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 occurs only in biomes with a temperature of 0.15–0.95. Rainstorms reduce the light level to 12 in full daylight.
Rain extinguishes fires (including flaming arrows). However, it does not extinguish fires on netherrack, and it does not solidify lava. Mobs that are on fire are extinguished on contact with rain; this prevents skeletons and zombies from burning during the day. On the contrary, endermen and snow golems may die due to their weakness to water. Endermen teleport randomly until they find a dry place. Blazes and striders that are brought into the Overworld take damage and eventually die from being in contact with rain.
Other interesting effects caused by rain:
- Fish are more abundant during rain.
- Wolves shake themselves dry if they are not moving (certain versions only).
- Farmland becomes hydrated if it isn't already.
- 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.[Java Edition only]
Snowfall occurs only in biomes with a temperature less than 0.15, or above a sufficient altitude. Like rainstorms, snowstorms reduce the light level to 12 in full daylight.
Note that any entities on fire are not extinguished upon contact with snow.
Thunderstorms may occur in any biome. They 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.
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 strike only blocks that are exposed to the rain.
Lightning deals 5 damage to entities on normal difficulty, not including the damage done by the fire it causes. It turns creepers into charged creepers, villagers into witches, pigs into zombified piglins, and mooshrooms into their brown variants.
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.
If the player throws a trident enchanted with channeling during a thunderstorm, it summons a lightning bolt at the thrown area.
|Java Edition Classic|
|October 22, 2009||Rain showcased.|
|October 22, 2009||Rain is now shown to be thinner.|
|?||Rain was introduced purely for cosmetic purposes. The mechanics were simple, testing only if there is a block above to shelter the rain.|
|0.27 SURVIVAL TEST||F5 now toggles rain.|
|0.29_01||Rain can now be toggled only in Creative mode.|
|Java Edition Indev|
|20100218||F5 no longer toggles rain.|
|Java Edition Alpha|
|v1.0.4||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.|
|v1.2.0||?||Removed Winter mode, and was replaced by biomes.|
|Java Edition Beta|
|1.5||Weather was introduced. Rain, snowfall, and thunderstorms were implemented after a teaser video was released. 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||Test Build 3||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.|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9 Prerelease||Snowfall destroys redstone, torches, saplings, and minecart rails.|
|Beta 1.9 Prerelease 5||Fixed the above bug.|
|1.3.1||12w23a||Weather transitioning was added.|
|1.4.2||12w32a||Added the |
|1.7.2||13w39a||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 now transforms villagers into witches.|
|14w30a||Lightning can now be manually summoned with the |
|1.9||15w38a||There is a chance (depending on regional difficulty) that a lightning strike spawns a "skeleton trap" skeletal horse.|
|16w04a||Rain sounds updated. Now more ambient/quieter and sounds more realistic.|
|1.17||20w46a||Cauldrons can now be filled with powder snow during snowfall.|
|1.18||21w44a||Sleeping now only resets the weather cycle if it is currently raining or snowing. Therefore, sleeping frequently no longer prevents rain or snow from happening.|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|v0.12.1||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.|
|1.0.0||?||Weather can now be skipped by sleeping.|
|Legacy 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.|
- Rain and 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 rain.
- Rain and snow are both considered the same weather effect by the game. This explains why there is no
- 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 for it to fall on.
- Lightning does not have an image file associated with it. Thus, it is coded directly into the game engine, allowing for dynamic, realistic lightning.
- "It's temporal and global" – @notch on Twitter, April 7, 2011
- "You can't see sun/moon/stars while it's raining, and days are one level darker." – @notch on Twitter, April 7, 2011
- "I'm not making it solidify lava, as that would ruin all surface lava structures when the first rain hits. But it does put out fires." – @notch on Twitter, April 7, 2011
- "it will not!" – @notch on Twitter, April 8, 2011
- "Higher odds of catching fish while raining.. Good one. :D I'll try making it fill small holes with water, but it might be annoying.. brb" – @notch on Twitter, April 7, 2011
- "Wolves get wet in the rain. Crops get watered. Anything else it should affect?" – @notch on Twitter, April 7, 2011
- "Ice and snow will regrow, farms will autowater" – @notch on Twitter, April 7, 2011
- "MUOAHAHA! Thunder Storms lower the brightness. That means daytime monsters during storms. This is freakily atmospheric." – @notch on Twitter, April 11, 2011
- – "Sleeping always resets time until rain" – resolved as "Fixed"
- "there's another layer of clouds above the low one! That's why the sky turns gray." – @notch on Twitter, October 29, 2011