Gregale

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gregale

The Maltese and best-known variant of a term for a strong northeast wind in the central and western Mediterranean and adjacent European land areas (stronger than the levante).

It occurs either with high pressure over central Europe or the Balkans and low pressure over Libya, when it may continue for up to five days, or with the passage of a depression to south or southeast, when it lasts only a day or two. It is most frequent in winter. The weather varies with the type of pressure distribution and the onshore or offshore direction of the wind. In Malta the gregale raises dangerous seas in the harbor. The principal variant is the grégal of the Côte d'Azur (French Mediterranean coast), humid and rainy because it is a wind off the Mediterranean deflected by the Alpine Massif (gargal of the Roussillon region). This is mainly a summer wind and dangerous for vines as it favors mildew. In Provençe and Languedoc (southern France) it is the gregau, in Spain and Minorca guergal, and in Corsica grécale; these winds are cold and dry and bring spring frosts.
Compare greco, levantera, lombarde.

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