A heat wave is a period of unusually warm or very hot weather, and may be followed by high humidity. "Heat wave" is not an exact term: Any weather that feels warmer than people expect, might be called a heat wave. For example, temperatures normal for a warmer climate might be called a "heat wave" by people living in a place that is usually cooler. So a "heat wave" could mean a little warm weather, (like "several days as hot as summer, but in winter"), or temperatures so high they make history, (such as, "the hottest summer in a hundred years").
- Meehl, George A.; Tebaldi, Claudia (August 13, 2004). "More Intense, More Frequent, and Longer Lasting Heat Waves in the 21st Century". Science 305 (5686). http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/305/5686/994.
- Robinson, Peter J. (April 2001). "On the Definition of a Heat Wave". Journal of Applied Meteorology (American Meteorological Society) 40 (4): 762-775. http://ams.allenpress.com/amsonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0450(2001)040%3C0762:OTDOAH%3E2.0.CO%3B2.