Once you start hitting the lower latitude, below 30, squalls are a fact of life. Daytime you can see them coming and when you do just watch to see the direction of travel. If right to left and forward of the beam, time it for a few seconds, and if it seems it will cross the bow, then relax. If it more on the beam you can do 3 things, speed up as in firing up the engine to help increase speed, slow down, take in some sails or get hit! If you are going to get hit or think you may, reef main sail and jib now! Old saying, if you think you need to reef, it is already too late. You can also use your radar to track them,
As you can see there is a very large on about to hit on the left and a couple smaller ones on the right. Since I was doing about 7 knots at the time, it passed me on the stern. Did get a nice warn fresh water shower and the boat received a nice bath also! Very refreshing! But seeing something like this on a late night watch is not much fun at all. Time speed and distance, if in doubt, reef heavy and hang on!