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Steady Rains Announce The Arrival Of Winter Weather In San Antonio

National Weather Service

San Antonio endured a chilly and rainy Saturday as steady rain moved through the region.

The National Weather Service reported rainfall between 3 and 11 this morning ranged from around a quarter of an inch in Hollywood Park to two and three quarter inches in Lytle. San Antonio International Airport received around an inch of rain in the same period.

Forecaster Bob Fogarty said shower activity peaked for the area Saturday morning but some showers could continue into the evening.

The showers broke out in advance of a cool front that will leave daytime highs in the 60s this weekend.

The rains came in waves from systems developing in northern Mexico, crossing the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass, and moving northeast into South Central Texas.

By daybreak, the storms intensified and drenched all of South Texas, and they stretched from Del Rio to Houston. By 2 p.m., most of the storms moved north into the Hill Country and into regions southeast of the Alamo City.

On Saturday morning, San Antonio drivers near I-10 and Wurzbach maneuvered through flooded streets, access roads and low water crossings. Faster drivers raced through the water, sending frothy cascades over the concrete dividers and splashing the windshields of nearby cars.

Near downtown San Antonio, people huddled under I-35 and watched small waterfalls pouring off the highway above them and onto cars sitting at traffic lights.

There were no immediate reports of damage or significant flooding in the San Antonio area.

By Saturday afternoon, the rains had tapered off in the downtown region. But storm clouds hung low over the southern horizon, making the sky gray and menacing.

Morning rains drenched I-35 North.
Morning rains drenched I-35 North.

The city entered the weekend with a huge rainfall deficit -- nearly a foot below its annual rainfall average. The last significant rains for the city were associated with Tropical Storm Beta in late September.

Severe drought conditions have plagued Bexar County, and extreme drought conditions stretched from western Bexar County to counties to the west and southwest. The threat of grass and brush fires has endured, and burn bans remained in effect for Bexar and most of the surrounding region.

Heavy rain was not the only big change coming to San Antonio. The region may see its first freeze of the season early Tuesday morning.

Fogarty explained on Saturday that an arctic cold front will push the temperature down to around 30 degrees before sunrise on Tuesday. Temperatures will dip into the 20s in the Hill Country.

He warned the freeze could cover all of Bexar County, so residents should plan to bring in pets, wrap exterior pipes and cover tender plants.

The high in San Antonio on Tuesday will be in the 50s.

Fogarty added that this first freeze of the season would arrive right on schedule. Historically, most first freezes have fallen around Nov. 27.