The observational evidence for the formation of downdrafts at the rear of tropical squall lines is reviewed. Some mechanisms, which have been proposed for the formation of such downdrafts, also are reviewed. Although the mechanisms are different, it is likely that in a tropical squall line system, all of them act together to produce the observed downdrafts.

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1 Present address: Center for Geophysical Research, University of Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica.