"storm at sea," 1540s, from gaile "wind," origin uncertain, perhaps from O.N. gol "breeze," or O.Dan. gal "bad, furious" (often used of weather), from O.N. galinn "bewitched." Or perhaps it is from O.E. galan "to sing" (the second element in nightingale), or giellan "to yell." In technical meteorological use, a wind between 32 and 63 miles per hour.
wind that is stronger than a breeze; specifically a wind of 28-55 knots (50-102 km per hour) corresponding to force numbers 7 to 10 on the Beaufort scale. As issued by weather service forecasters, gale warnings occur when forecasted winds range from 34 to 47 knots (63 to 87 km per hour).
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