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SQUALL-LINES Moving lines of thunderstorms (

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quall!lines is a term used for descri"ing moving lines of thunderstorms. #hey are hundreds of kilometers in length and have a life span of several hours$ which is considera"ly longer than its component thunderstorms. quall!lines generate gusty winds and heavy rains which are more intense and e%tensive than individual thunderstorms. quall!lines are often o"served during the southwest monsoon along the west coast of &eninsular Malaysia and coastal areas of 'ast Malaysia facing the outh (hina ea. )n &eninsular Malaysia$ squall!lines referred to as * Sumatras* are formed along the traits of Malacca during the night and pre!dawn. umatras tend to move eastwards in the morning affecting mainly the west coast states of &eninsular Malaysia. quall!lines in 'ast Malaysia appear to e%hi"it the same characteristics$ developing off! shore in the night "efore sweeping landwards in the morning. What happens when a squall-line approaches )f you live along the coastal regions of western &eninsular Malaysia.... +ou o"serve a characteristic cloud formation$ a thick "and of cumulonim"us clouds which rises to great heights$ approaching from the sea. ,ind speed rapidly accelerates and "ecomes gusty as the squall!line approaches. #here is a sudden drop in temperature.

#he passage of the squall!line is often accompanied "y thunder$ lightning and heavy rain. -n reaching land$ deprived of its latent heat of condensation$ the squall!line rapidly dissipates. .ainfall decrease in intensity$ and conditions return to normal within a"out an hour When are squall lines most likely ? quall!lines usually occur during pre!dawn and early morning$ and are most frequent "etween the months of /pril and 0ovem"er. 1owever$ squall!lines can occasionally form in the afternoons and move landwards along with the prevailing winds. Ori in o! "Sumatras" #he umatras is a phenomenon unique to the west coast of &eninsular Malaysia )ts formation is due to the location of the )ndonesian island of umatra on the west$ and &eninsular Malaysia on the east$ separated "y the narrow traits of Malacca 2uring the outhwest Monsoon$ southwesterly winds "lowing over the mountain range of umatra creates mountain waves on the leeward side$ resulting in an unsta"le atmosphere. .elatively warmer waters of the Malacca convective development. traits provide a source of moisture for

)n a highly unsta"le atmosphere$ thunderclouds grow in!situ and merge into line squalls. quall!lines move northeastwards steered "y the southwesterly wind towards the west coast areas of &eninsular Malaysia. Squall-lines are #an erous quall!lines indicate areas of e%treme insta"ility and severe tur"ulence. 'm"edded in squall!lines are thunderstorm cells$ which can produce lightning$ heavy rain leading to flash floods$ and strong winds. )n severe cases$ they can cause injuries and loss of lives as well as damage to property. Squall-lines are e$tremely #an erous to a%iation as&&&&& trong wind shears within clouds are the cause of many fatal crashes. 2owndrafts and updrafts in cloud are dangerous to light aircraft which are not equipped with sophisticated instrumentation for their detection.

2own"ursts from "elow cloud may affect flights at low levels particularly as aircraft approach airfields. 'lash !loo#s can claim %ictims&&&& 2ue to the high intensity rainfall$ low lying and poorly drained areas may "e su"jected to heavy flooding as the squall!line passes. )n late 3445 &enang and &rai was affected "y flash flood caused "y umatras which developed in the northern Malacca traits moving rapidly inland in the early morning. #hese floods resulted in considera"le damage of property and pu"lic facilities. #he rainfall was the highest ever recorded. (ole o! the )alaysian )eteorolo ical Ser%ice /ll meteorological forecast offices at principal airports in the country are equipped with weather radars which can detect development of squall!lines and monitor their movement. #he meteorological office at the 6uala 7umpur )nternational /irport at epang has a 2oppler .adar capa"le of detecting wind shear in squalls. ,ith this latest radar technology to detect ha8ardous weather conditions$ timely warnings are issued "y the Malaysian Meteorological ervice.