KUALA LUMPUR – Hailstorms, like the one which hit the capital earlier this month, can occur up to three times a year, says Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Madius Tangau.
“Hail is not an unusual phenomenon, but it’s very rare in our country. Based on our records, it can occur with a frequency of one to three times in a year,” he told Bernama here.
Madius said the phenomenon occurs when there is a strong thunderstorm and when the cumulonimbi clouds (the main source of the formation of thunderstorms) reached a height of 40,000 feet.
“When the temperature goes below freezing point, the rain drops become ice lumps sized between 5mm and 1.5cm, about the size of a marble.
“Hail usually occurs locally around areas under cumulonimbus clouds and lasts for a relatively short time, of about 20 minutes,” he said.
In the hailstorm that hit the capital on the evening of June 3, Petaling Jaya Meteorological Station records show rain measuring 60.2mm and winds of up to 46.8km per hour as the cause of the phenomenon.
Madius advised people facing similar hail incidents to stay away from windows and immediately seek refuge in a safe place.
“If in a vehicle, make sure you park under a bridge or a sturdy structure,” added Madius. â€“ BERNAMA