Gail vs. Gale

By Jaxson

  • Gale

    The U.S. National Weather Service defines a gale as 34–47 knots (63–87 km/h, 17.5–24.2 m/s or 39–54 miles/hour) of sustained surface winds. Forecasters typically issue gale warnings when winds of this strength are expected.

    Other sources use minima as low as 28 knots (52 km/h; 14 m/s; 32 mph), and maxima as high as 90 knots (170 km/h; 46 m/s; 100 mph). Through 1986, the National Hurricane Center used the term gale to refer to winds of tropical force for coastal areas, between 33 knots (61 km/h; 17 m/s; 38 mph) and 63 knots (117 km/h; 72 mph; 32 m/s). The 90 knots (170 km/h; 46 m/s; 100 mph) definition is very non-standard. A common alternative definition of the maximum is 55 knots (102 km/h; 63 mph; 28 m/s).

    The most common way of measuring winds is with the Beaufort scale, which defines a gale as wind from 50 kilometres per hour (14 m/s) to 102 kilometres per hour (28 m/s). It is an empirical measure for describing wind speed based mainly on observed sea conditions. Its full name is the Beaufort wind force scale.

    On the Beaufort scale, a gale can be classified as:

    7: moderate gale (32–38 miles per hour),

    8: fresh gale (39-46 mph),

    9: strong gale (47-54 mph), or

    10: storm/whole gale (55-63 mph).

    A gale is a type of Wind Description preceded by:

    0: calm,

    1: light air,

    2: light breeze,

    3: gentle breeze,

    4: moderate breeze,

    5: fresh breeze, and

    6: strong breeze;

    and succeeded by:

    11: violent storm and

    12: hurricane

    on a Beaufort Wind Scale. There is a unique Beaufort scale number and a unique arrow indication for each type of wind description mentioned above.

    The word gale is derived from the older gail, but its origin is uncertain.

  • Gale (verb)

    To sing; charm; enchant.

  • Gale (verb)

    To cry; groan; croak.

  • Gale (verb)

    To talk.

  • Gale (verb)

    To call.

  • Gale (verb)

    To sing; utter with musical modulations.

  • Gale (verb)

    To sail, or sail fast.

  • Gale (noun)

    A very strong wind, more than a breeze, less than a storm; number 7 through to 9 winds on the 12-step Beaufort scale.

  • Gale (noun)

    An outburst, especially of laughter.

    “a gale of laughter”

  • Gale (noun)

    A light breeze.

  • Gale (noun)

    A song or story.

  • Gale (noun)

    A shrub, also called sweet gale or bog myrtle (Myrica gale), that grows on moors and fens.

  • Gale (noun)

    A periodic payment, such as is made of a rent or annuity.

    “Gale day – the day on which rent or interest is due.”


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