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Severe Thunderstorm Watch expires after storms bring hail and strong wind through San Antonio area on Easter Sunday

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SAN ANTONIO — A Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Bexar County and the Hill Country expired at 8 p.m. on Easter Sunday after several hours of storm activity in the region.

The National Weather Service said the main threats from these storms was frequent lightning, strong localized wind gusts, and hail they said reached the size of large apples in some places.

Pearsall, North Pearsall, and Yancey were under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 7:15, and the NWS said hail 3 inches in diameter and wind gusts over 70 mph had been reported in Yancey, urging residents to stay inside and away from windows.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for Hondo, Devine, and Natalia until 6:30. Hondo, Castroville, and Lakehills were under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 5:30, with that cell producing hail the size of golf balls.

Boerne, Fair Oaks Ranch, Timberwood Park were under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 4:30 p.m. A Warning remains in effect for Bandera, Lakehills and Lake Medina Shores, and the NWS says this storm would contain hailstones the size of tennis balls.

"Additional thunderstorm development is possible over the next several hours, with the greatest area of potential being in and around the watch area," officials said. "SPC continues a Slight (level 2/5) Risk for severe thunderstorms across portions of Hill Country and the I-35 corridor, with a Marginal (level 1/5) Risk surrounding the Slight. Storms will be capable of large to very large hail ranging from one to greater than two inches in diameter, as well as isolated damaging wind gusts exceeding 60 MPH. Activity will begin to subside following sunset as surface temperatures cool."

This is a developing weather event. Refresh the page for the latest updates.

SEVERE WEATHER 101

When severe weather threatens the area, it is important to know what risks a storm can bring and what you should do to stay safe. 

One of the most important things to know is where you are located on a map, so when a watch or warning is put into place, you can identify if you are at risk. When the National Weather Service puts out warnings, they are county-based and sometimes include cities as well. It is important to know where you live in the county and that you can identify it on a map.

It is also important to know the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means that conditions are favorable for something to happen, but a warning means that something has developed and it is important to take action.

So, what would cause a thunderstorm to be qualified as a "severe" thunderstorm?

Hail that is one inch large is also considered to be about the size of a quarter.

Another ingredient that would lead to a storm becoming severe is if winds are 58 mph or greater.

Winds at this strength could cause damage to roofs and could even cause trees to be knocked down.

Finally, if a tornado is present inside a thunderstorm it would qualify the storm as becoming severe.

In this instance, a tornado warning would be issued.

A tornado watch can be issued for an area if strong storms are expected, and if the storms bring the risk for tornadoes, but not all storms include the threat for tornadoes. The ingredients in the atmosphere for a tornado to form are not always there when storms are present.

If the area you are in is ever under a tornado warning, it is important to know where you should go inside your home.

Head to the lowest, interior room of your home. The basement would be best, but if you don't have one, head to the first floor of the home and get away from exterior walls, or walls that lead to the outside of the home.

It is also important to stay away from glass. The more walls you can put between you and the outside, the better.

While lightning can be frequent in storms and very dangerous, it does not lead to a storm being qualified as severe.

Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors.

Storms can also lead to flooding. Flooding may not cause a storm to be labeled as being severe, but it is the deadliest kind of weather.

South Texas is known to have major flood events every few years, so it is important to use caution and to always stay out of floodwaters. Remember, turn around, don't drown.

Entering flood water is very dangerous as you can be swept off of your feet and you don't know what could be in the water that could hurt you.

The best thing you can do to be ready for severe weather is know what you will do in the event it strikes where you live.

Make sure your family has a severe weather action plan.

Have a place everyone goes inside your home and keep supplies there, such as food, medication, batteries, and flashlights.

Weather Minds Classroom: Take a class in Severe Weather 101

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