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Definition
A cold wave is a weather phenomenon that is distinguished by a cooling of the air. Specifically, as used by the U.S. National Weather Service, a cold wave is a rapid fall in temperature within a 24 hour period requiring substantially increased protection to agriculture, industry, commerce, and social activities. The precise criterion for a cold wave is determined by the rate at which the temperature falls, and the minimum to which it falls. This minimum temperature is dependent on the geographical region and time of year.

Occurrences of extreme low temperature along with dry cold winds from north into the sub continent are known as cold waves. Cold waves are accompanied by high winds that cause excessive wind chills; leading to weather that seems even colder than it is.

References:
Cold Wave AMS - Glossary of Meteorology. Retrieved on 2008-09-25.

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