What is a gale wind?

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A gale is a very strong wind. Wind force is rated according to the Beaufort scale. The Beaufort scale rates wind force on a scale from 0 to 12. Gale force wind is rated an 8 on the Beaufort scale. The speed of a gale force wind is 39-46 miles/hour. At this speed, it is difficult to walk and small branches may be blown off of trees. At sea, waves are moderately high. The Beaufort scale was created in 1805 by Francis Beaufort, an officer in the Royal Navy. Prior to the Beaufort scale, there were no standard ways to classify wind force.

Beaufort Scale of Wind Force

Force           Name

0                 Calm

1                 Light air

2                 Light breeze

3                 Gentle breeze

4                 Moderate breeze

5                 Fresh breeze

6                 Strong breeze

7                 Near gale

8                 Gale

9                 Strong gale

10               Storm

11               Violent storm

12               Hurricane

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