Has San Antonio ever seen hail this severe?

2001 storm caused $120 million in hail damage

SAN ANTONIO – Tuesday night's hail storm was powerful, but was it the worst the Alamo City has ever seen?

"We've had hail before, but not hail this bad,” said Jessica Trabue, who lives on the Northeast Side.

Many across the city shared that sentiment Wednesday morning, but history shows there have been other major hail events in Bexar County.

"We actually have had 4- or 5 1/2-inch hailstones reported in Bexar County in 2001 and 2002,” said Aaron Treadway, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in New Braunfels.

The 2001 storm, which occurred in May, primarily affected San Antonio. The December 2002 storm was centered around Elmendorf.

Hail 4 to 4 1/2 inches diameter equates to grapefruit or softball size. To compare, the largest hailstone reported Tuesday night was 3 1/2 inches, according to the National Weather Service. That compares to something bigger than a baseball but smaller than a grapefruit.

As far as the cost of the storm, it remains far too early to estimate any numbers. Historically, the 2001 hail storm remains the costliest for San Antonio.

"The most expensive that we have on record is that 2001 event, and that was a $120 million hail damage event in San Antonio,” Treadway said.

Tuesday’s storm may be unique because it was a large hail track, which fell over a populated area, for an extended amount of time. There is little doubt that the total cost of the storm will reach well into the millions.

Baseball-size hail is estimated to travel more than 75 miles per hour depending on trajectory, shape and wind speed.

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.

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