Project Zomboid uses a realistic climate system, based off Kentucky’s humid subtropical climate. There are four distinct seasons, with substantial variations between the summer and winter. Some winters can see extremely low temperatures with large amounts of snowfall, whilst summers may be scorchers, however the degree of this can vary with each new season.
The weather is heavily defined by weather fronts, which can be either cold (low airmass) or warm (high airmass), each of which will be accompanied with its own weather conditions. The intensity of the weather conditions is governed by the strength of the previous front, and the strength of the current front. So, if the previous front was a strong warm front, and the current is a cold front, there will be greater chance of a tropical storm occurring. Each front can last a few days up to several weeks.
There are several weather types within Project Zomboid, all of which are determined by the current weather front. The player can experience, cloudy, rainy, snowy, stormy, foggy, windy and sunny weather.
Clouds can vary in density, often having a great effect on the level of light. Widespread cloud cover is often associated with a warm front, reducing the level of light. Thick clouds can often occur during a cold front, plunging the world into darkness for a brief period. The current cloud cover can be seen as shadows on the ground, or even as reflections in vehicle windows.
Rain and snow
Rain, also referred to as precipitation, can come in several forms, from light showers to heavy rainfall. Light showers often occur after a warm front has passed, since this will usually result in widespread cloudiness. Heavy rainfall is often associated with a cold front; however, this can also occur during a warm front. If the temperature is cold enough, snowfall will even occur rather than rainfall. During snowfall, the ground, trees and other surfaces will gradually become covered in snow.
If the player is caught in the rain or snow, they will become wet, increasing in severity depending on the level of rainfall and time spent in the rain. Staying wet will cause the player to feel colder and may eventually catch a cold, causing them to involuntarily cough and sneeze. The rain can be blocked by having an umbrella equipped, keeping the player dry.
Thunder clouds and tropical storms
Thunder clouds may form during a cold front, with the intensity varying with the level of airmass. A colder front (lower airmass) moving into a warmer body (higher airmass) will have a greater chance of producing thunder or even a tropical storm, in which has a lot more wind power, thick clouds and darkness.
On multiplayer servers, a rumble of thunder can be heard, even if it’s clear sunny skies. This is the result of a player being banned from the server.
Fog, like light showers and widespread cloudiness, is often formed during a warm front. However, fog can also appear during cold mornings, which will usually result in a clear sunny day. Fog can severely affect the player’s visibility, making it somewhat dangerous to scavenge during a foggy day. Fog, like rain, can only be seen outdoors, making it safer to stay indoors when it’s foggy.
Sunny days are caused by the absence of clouds, often being the result of a cold front. Clear skies are often accompanied with higher temperatures, increasing the player’s risk of getting sunstroke. The intensity of a sunny day can be determined by the intensity of the reddish hue when outside.
Wind can be observed during any time of the year via the weather effects, movement of foliage or even the cloud movement direction. In the winter months, windchill becomes a major effect on the player when outdoors. Windchill will cause the player to feel colder than the actual air temperature, as is displayed on a digital watch. Items/Clothing type can reduce the amount of windchill experienced by the player.
The temperature within Project Zomboid can vary greatly depending on the current season. Temperature is influenced by several factors, including the season, the time of day, wind strength, and airmass, in which determines the weather front. Each day has a maximum and minimum temperature, the temperature will increase until it hits the maximum temperature for the day, at which point it will begin to fall until it reaches the minimum temperature.
There are four distinct seasons: summer, winter, autumn and spring. Each season has its own unique weather and temperature traits.
June - August
Summer is typically the hottest season, able to reach temperatures up to and beyond 40°C (104°F). Although the typical summer will see very little rainfall, scattered clouds and daytime temperatures averaging 30°C (86°F). However, each summer can be very different from the last, with some seeing lower temperatures and more rainfall. Daylight in the summer is the longest of the seasons.
September - November
Autumn generally has the most extreme weather, having a higher chance of generating tropical storms in the earlier months. Plant life will lose their leaves during these months and may even see snow during the later months. Farming will have a very low yield during autumn. Beginning in November, foraging will no longer yield food.
December - February
Winter is the coldest season, with temperatures often getting into the negatives and down to -30°C (-22°F). Snowfall is most likely to occur during the winter, creating snowfields and covering surfaces and plant life in snow. Farming will no longer be possible during these months. Daylight in the winter is the lowest of the seasons.
March - May
Spring is the most average season, with frequent rains, chance of storms and the most likely to see fog. This season is abundant with wildlife, with foraging and farming yielding plenty of food and resources.
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The moon cycle is based on a 30 day cycle. There are 8 different moon phases. Each moon phase provides a different amount of ambient light during the night time. Ranging from 0.0 (New Moon) to 0.7 (Full Moon).
The moon progresses as follows:
||Moon Phase ID