What is a Gale Warning?

May 31, 2023

If you’re living on a coastal property, gale warnings should be viewed with seriousness. These conditions can significantly impact the water, making it very hazardous for any sort of activity. Depending on the severity of the gale, it could even be a threat to life.

Gale warnings are issued by weather forecasting agencies when winds reach a certain category on the Beaufort scale, which classifies wind speeds from moderate (force 6) to severe (force 7). A gale warning indicates that dangerous conditions are present or are imminent at sea and anyone who is near the ocean should take precautions. In the United States, marine warning flags that display two red pennants stacked on top of one another are used to indicate gale conditions.

As you can see from the chart above, gales aren’t really all that rare. Almost any area where a clash of low and high pressure systems occurs is prone to gale force winds developing, and they can also be accompanied by other severe weather phenomena such as storms or hurricanes.

Gales can have devastating effects on the surface of the ocean as well as coastal properties, and can be deadly for anyone who is out on the water or too close to the shoreline. It’s important to prepare your home in advance of a gale warning, and ensure that any outdoor furniture is extremely secure or brought inside, as well as any other objects that may be blown away by the winds. It’s also a good idea to stock up on essential supplies like food, water, and emergency energy sources.


Tornado Dave is the best place to learn more about severe weather and climate science. He's a veritable tornado of information, and he loves nothing more than educating others about the importance of being prepared for extreme weather events. Make sure to check in with Tornado Dave often, as he's always updating his blog with the latest news and information!
hello world!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram