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"sudden, violent gust of wind," 1719, originally nautical, probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian skval "sudden rush of water," Swedish skvala "to gush, pour down"), probably ultimately a derivative of squall (v.).
"cry out loudly," 1630s, probably from Old Norse skvala "to cry out," of imitative origin (cf. squeal). Related: Squalled; squalling.
A brief, sudden, violent windstorm, often accompanied by rain or snow. A squall is said to occur if a wind having a sustained speed of 40 km (25 mi) per hour lasts at least 1 minute and then decreases rapidly. See also squall line.
as used by weather forecasters, a sudden wind-speed increase of 8 metres per second (18 miles per hour) or more, for one minute or longer. It includes several briefer wind-speed changes, or gusts. A squall is often named for the weather phenomenon that accompanies it, such as rain, hail, or thunder; a line squall is one associated with a squall line of thunderstorms that is often hundreds of kilometres long.