This Day in Weather History: January 12 is anniversary of San Antonio’s record setting 1985 snowstorm

It was a memorable day as 13.5″ of snow falls on city

It was on this day in 1985 that 13.5" of snow fell in San Antonio

It was a day, for anyone who lived in San Antonio during the mid-80s, will remember for a lifetime.

January 12 marks the anniversary of the 1985 snowstorm. San Antonio was blanketed with 13.5″ of snow, enough to bring the city to complete standstill. Even Del Rio picked up 8.6″. It’s a South Texas snowstorm that broke records and will likely won’t be rivaled for a long time.

1985 Snow storm
Snow totals form the 1985 snowstorm. Courtesy: NWS Austin/San Antonio

How did it happen?

It took a perfect setup. An artic front blasted south just days prior. With a deep layer of cold air firmly in place an upper level low approached from the west. This upper level low tapped into high level Pacific moisture, much like what we might see in the spring. Combine that with a track of the low over the area and it was and ideal situation for snow.

1985 Snow storm (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Records:

RANKSNOWFALL AMOUNTDATE
1.13.5″January 12th-13th, 1985
2.6.4″January 23th- January 24, 1926
3.3.7″January 30th, 1949
4.4.2February 14th, 1895
5.3.5February 22nd-23rd, 1966

About the Author:

Justin Horne is a meteorologist and reporter for KSAT 12 News. When severe weather rolls through, Justin will hop in the KSAT 12 Storm Chaser to safely bring you the latest weather conditions from across South Texas. On top of delivering an accurate forecast, Justin often reports on one of his favorite topics: Texas history.