The improbable snowfall of December 7, 2017

Heavy, wet snow accumulated across San Antonio

Snowfall in San Antonio on December 7, 2017 (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

When it comes to snowfall memories, older San Antonians will harken back to 1985 and forgetting February 2021′s winter experience is impossible.

But, one of my favorite snowfall events is the one that happened on this date five years ago. The timing was impeccable. It was just enough to make a respectable snowman, while the glistening sun the next morning made for a scene right out of a Hallmark movie.

I remember the forecast being a difficult one. We had forecast snow and wintry weather for the Hill Country that morning and indeed, it happened. I was in the KSAT Storm Chaser and a cold rain turned to a beautiful snowfall once we reached the higher elevations of Bandera County. It was enough to have snowball fight. San Antonio, by and large, missed out on the wintry weather early in the day and we felt most of the precipitation would come to an end fairly early.

That didn’t happen. The storm system that had blasted through Texas wasn’t done yet. One last piece of energy generated a surprisingly heavy band of precipitation right after sunset. San Antonio sat just above freezing, but many times heavy precipitation can drag temperatures down from the top to the bottom of the atmosphere. Temps fell down to freezing. The timing was perfect. Rush hour had ended and most folks were at home. A wet, heavy show began to fall and it accumulated on grassy surfaces. The roadways were generally just wet. Snowmen were built across town, as it was San Antonio’s largest snowfall since 1985 (that would later be surpassed in February 2021).

This radar loop shows the heavy snow band that moved through South Texas on December 7, 2017.

In the end, San Antonio International Airport received 1.9″ of snow. It ranks as the second earliest snowfall on record for San Antonio -- but number one in my memories. My daughter and I built a quality snowman that I’ll never forget. My younger daughter also got to witness her first ever snow (she was too young to remember), and we’ve got pictures to prove it!

Snowman my daughter and I created (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

The December 7th snowfall many times gets overlooked, but it shouldn’t. It was magical, especially for early December.


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.