San Antonio: Geography and Climate

Commonly known as "the place where the sunshine spends the winter," San Antonio is situated in south central Texas between the Edwards Plateau to the northwest and the Gulf Coastal Plains to the southeast. The city's gently rolling terrain is dotted with oak trees, mesquite, and cacti, which flourish under the clear or partly cloudy skies that prevail more than 60 percent of the time. Although San Antonio lies 140 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the seat of Bexar County, pronounced "bear," is still close enough to experience the warm, muggy air of a semitropical climate. During the winter, temperatures drop below the freezing mark an average of only 20 days; precipitation is mostly in the form of light rain or drizzle. Annual rainfall is nearly 28 inches, enough for production of most crops. May and September see the most rainfall, building to thunderstorms with winds from the southeast. The city's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, however, can bring San Antonio some severe tropical storms. Summers are hot; in fact, federal studies of weather patterns rank San Antonio as the fourth hottest city in the nation because of the average 111 days each year that temperatures reach 90 degrees or higher.

Area: 407.6 square miles (2000)

Elevation: Approximately 701 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 49.3° F; August, 84.9° F; annual average, 68.6° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 27.9 inches