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Snow in San Antonio

January 22, 2009

Undated image showing Alamo Plaza covered in snow (SC13308).

An undated image, probably taken around the turn of the twentieth century, showing Alamo Plaza covered in snow (SC13308).

Even though San Antonio is enjoying spring-like weather this week, past Januaries have witnessed more severe winter weather of cold, snow, and ice. In a story published on January 15, 1995, the San Antonio Express-News listed the “the ten greatest daily snowfall figures” in the city’s history, compiled from records of the National Weather Service dating back to 1885:

  1. January 12, 1985 – 13.9 inches
  2. January 30, 1949 – 4.7 inches
  3. February 14, 1985 – 4.2 inches
  4. January 24, 1926 – 3.4 inches
  5. February 22, 1966 – 3.1 inches
  6. January 22, 1940 – 3.0 inches
  7. January 23, 1926 – 3.0 inches
  8. December 18, 1906 – 3.0 inches
  9. December 21, 1927 – 2.9 inches
  10. December 14, 1898 – 2.7 inches

Historically, noted the newspaper, San Antonio “gets measurable snow about once every three years, but it hasn’t had a significant snowfall since the record storm of 1985.”

Tucked in some of the DRT Library’s manuscript and photograph collections are images showing some of San Antonio’s most inclement winter weather.

Twin sisters Florence and Blanche Riddge pose in front of their home during a snow storm on February 14, 1895. Florence Riddle (1867-1969) served as custodian of the Alamo for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Twin sisters Florence and Blanche Riddle pose in front of their home during a snow storm on February 14, 1895. Florence Riddle (1867-1969) served as custodian of the Alamo for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

"In February the temperature went down to 4 degrees F. West End Lake and the river froze over." (SC926.Pioneer.45)

Ernst F. Schuchard inscribed this image "Skating on West End Lake, 1899." Appearing in the Pioneer Flour Mills 100th Anniversary album (page 45), the image was further described with the caption: "In February the temperature went down to 4 degrees F. West End Lake and the river froze over" (SC926.Pioneer.45).

The George Dullnig House on Nolan Street blanketed in snow, January 24, 1926 (SC5205.3.11).

The George Dullnig House on Nolan Street blanketed in snow, January 24, 1926 (SC5205.3.11).

Do you have any favorite memories of previous San Antonio winters? If so, you can share them with other readers by posting a comment below.

Click here for a full citation of the documents and images included in this entry.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2010 11:19 pm

    My family lived in San Antonio from 1949-1959 and lived on MacDougal Street in Highland Hills the last 7 years. We experienced heavy snow in 1949 and although I was only 4 years old, I remember playing in the snow with my cousins and older brother at Aunt Mary’s apartment. Then Aunt Mary surprised us by making snow ice cream – yummy. It snowed again sometime around 1957 but just enough to make a snowman. School dismissed for the day because the City had no snowplows. All the snow melted by midafternoon except the snowman, so there on our front lawn sat our glorious snowman in all its splendor, slowly melting. My snow memories are delightful memories of a slower-paced and safer life.

  2. Tony Arriola permalink
    January 27, 2011 3:51 pm

    I was stationed at Ft Sam Houston and was in the process of moving to Ft Ord California. We had sent all of our furnishings out already and were doing some touch up cleaning before leaving. We had planned to leave on Jan 12th. Because of the snow most roads were closed. If it had not been for one of our neighbors we would have been in a mess with very little in the house for bedding and food. Mrs. Smith took us in and took care of us for several days before we were able to leave. It was certainly a memorable last few days in San Antonio for our family.

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