When should you be worried about hail? Here are a few reminders

San Antonio is no stranger to hail. It’s just part of severe weather season. But it’s fair to say that the record hail storm in 2016 left us shaken and likely a little more sensitive to the icy phenomenon.

Hail damage to cars and roofs comes down to two things: wind and size. The stronger the wind and the larger the hail, obviously the more significant the damage. A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when hail reaches 1 inch in diameter. Keep in mind 1 inch = U.S. Quarter. Wind-driven quarter-size hail has enough mass and density to do minor damage. Science has shown that hail this size falls between 25 mph and 40 mph.

Hailstones come in many sizes (Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

Once hail reaches the size of golf balls (1.75″ hail), then we start to talk about serious damage to cars and roofs. When hail gets to baseball and softball size, it’s a certainty that damage will occur. This size hail can travel up to 100 mph! So was the case in 2016.

The last round of hail brought near quarter-size hail across downtown. There were reports of some minor damage. If you do think you sustained some damage, it’s important to write down the date and time and save any pictures you have of the hail, preferably with a reference for measurement. In other words, take a picture of a hailstone next to a coin or baseball, depending on the size. This will help when communicating with insurance. You’ll want to move quickly on this, as well.

Lastly, while we at KSAT love seeing your pictures, please don’t go out in a storm to collect a hailstone. It sounds like common sense, but we’ve seen too many injuries of people getting conked on the noggin. If you can safely grab one that has bounced toward your door, then go for it. Otherwise, you’ll want to wait for the storm to end and, keep in mind, a bit of melting has taken place.

With spring weather, there’s never a guarantee, but the odds are high that we’ll see a few more instances of hail across the area over the next few months. Stay safe!

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