cold wave

GC: n

S: (last access: 21 July 2016; (last access: 21 July 2016).

N: 1. cold (n): c. 1300, “coldness,” from cold (adj.). Sense in common cold is 1530s, from symptoms resembling those of exposure to cold; compare earlier senses “indisposition caused by exposure to cold” (early 14c.); “discomfort caused by cold” (c. 1300).
wave (n): “moving billow of water,” 1520s, alteration (by influence of wave (v.)) of Middle English waw, which is from Old English wagian “to move to and fro”.
2. Marked cooling of the air, or the invasion of very cold air, over a large area.
3. It usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. This is a drop of atmospheric average temperature well above the averages of a region, with effects on human populations, crops, properties and services. (GLIDE)
4. In the terminology of the United States Weather Bureau, an unusual fall in temperature, to or below the freezing point, exceeding 16° in twenty-four hours or 20° in thirty-six hours, independent of the diurnal range.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 21 July 2016). 2. METEOTERM – International Meteorological Vocabulary, WMO – No. 182 (last access: 21 July 2016). 3. (last access: 21 July 2016). 4. (last access: 21 July 2016).

SYN: cold spell

S: TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 21 July 2016)

CR: heat wave