How long have official weather records been kept in San Antonio?

The observations haven’t always been taken at the San Antonio Int’l Airport

Every now and then, when KSAT meteorologists compare recent stats to history, you’ll hear us say: “since records have been kept.” But what does that mean?

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Simply put, meteorologists refer to the stretch of consecutive years when reliable, official observations have been recorded.

According to “History of Weather Observations: San Antonio, TX 1846-1955,” by Gary K. Grice, consistent, daily observations began in San Antonio in 1885. At that point, the weather was recorded in the Quadrangle at Fort Sam Houston, with sheltered instruments.

In 1891, the Weather Bureau (which would later become the National Weather Service) took control of the observations. The Weather Bureau would be housed in several buildings downtown, where the weather was recorded. That included the Dulling Building, Alamo Insurance Building, Maverick Building, Hicks Building (pictured below), a building with various names (313 E. Houston St), Alamo National Bank Building, and the Federal Building.

People watch the 1937 Battle of Flowers parade from the Hicks Building. (San Antonio Light photo courtesy of UTSA Special Collections)

In 1941, the observations were briefly moved to Stinson Airport, and once again in 1942 to San Antonio International Airport. Reports have come from this location every since.

The National Weather Service office in San Antonio eventually merged with the offices from Austin, Del Rio, and Hondo to create the current office located in New Braunfels. The meteorologists at that office now keep records for many of the locations in and around San Antonio.

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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.

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