Wrangling with Mother Nature: San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo’s history of wild weather

It’s a San Antonio staple and a sense of pride for our great city. Rain or shine, we’ll show up to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

But, sometimes Mother Nature likes to ‘buck’ our plans and remind us that we don’t have the reins. Here’s the thing — February is a wild month for San Antonio. We’ve seen temperatures range from as low as 6° to as high as 100° in February, so to put a two-and-a-half week, semi-outdoor event right in the middle of the month, means you’re taking a bigger gamble than hiding in a barrel from a bucking bull. With that being said, we’ve seen plenty of rodeos with stellar weather. Conversely, there have been some pretty ugly stretches of weather right smack in the middle of the yearly event. While the dates of the Stock Show and Rodeo have varied slightly through the years, here’s a look at some of the bigger weather events that took place around rodeo time:

2021: THE WORST (& COLDEST)

Honestly, I don’t think there is any argument here that this was the worst weather the rodeo has ever seen. Not only was COVID still raging at this point, but San Antonio (and all of Texas) was in the midst of a record-setting winter storm. Snow and ice covered the city, roads were impassable, and temperatures plunged into the single digits. Power outages plagued the city and the state for weeks afterward. This meant that the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo was forced to cancel or postpone several events.

1996: THE HOTTEST

On February 21, 1996, records were shattered when temperatures soared to 100°! It remains the hottest temperature San Antonio has ever seen in the month of February. My guess is that the best-selling beverage at the rodeo back then was water (at least in theory). Thankfully, the next day, temperatures dropped to a ‘much cooler’ 93°.

1966: THE SNOWIEST

The 1960s brought some snowy Februarys. In 1966, 3.5″ of snow was recorded at San Antonio International Airport on the 22nd and 23rd. We’ve seen plenty of light icing events during rodeo time, but snow events are quite a bit rarer. While we weren’t able to find any pictures to prove it, I would imagine that this put a damper on the outdoor portion of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

2012: THE RAINIEST

This was one of our rainiest Februarys on record, with measurable precipitation showing up on more than half of the days that month. This included a stretch from Feb. 10 through Feb. 18 during which at least a trace of rainfall was reported every day except one. That was coupled with some wild swings in temperatures (we dipped to 32° on the morning of Feb. 12, just to warm up to 80° on the 15th!).

Take these extremes and sprinkle in everything in between and you have the reason rodeo weather is more temperamental than Bodacious the bull.

As for 2024, the start of the rodeo on Thursday calls for highs in the 70s and more humidity. A few chances for rain are in the forecast into the first weekend, followed by a cold front that will cool us down and dry us out into the first half of next week.

Let’s Rodeo San Antonio!

The first few days of the rodeo in 2024 will feature highs in the 70s and more humidity. A few chances for rain arrive this weekend, followed by a cool down next week.

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