Heat waves and warm spells are extreme meteorological events that generate a significant number of casualties in temperate regions, as well as outside of temperate regions. For the purpose of this paper, heat waves and warm spells were identified based on daily maximum temperatures recorded at 27 weather stations located in Romania over a 55-year period (1961–2015). The intensity threshold was the 90th percentile, and the length of an event was of minimum three consecutive days. We analyzed 111 heat wave and warm spell events totaling 423 days. The classification of synoptic conditions was based on daily reanalysis at three geopotential levels and on the online version of a backward trajectories model. The main findings are that there are two major types of genetic conditions. These were identified as: (i) radiative heat waves and warm spells (type A) generated by warming the air mass due to high amounts of radiation which was found dominant in warm season; and (ii) advective heat waves and warm spells (type B) generated mainly by warm air mass advection which prevails in winter and transition seasons. These major types consist of two and three sub-types, respectively. The results could become a useful tool for weather forecasters in order to better predict the occurrence of heat waves and warm spells.
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