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Naming the Weather

Institute of Meteorology at Freie Universität Assigns Names to Weather Highs and Lows for the Year Ahead: Starting September 25, 2013

№ 276/2013 from Sep 23, 2013

Bis heute unerlässlich: Wetteraufzeichung per Hand
Still essential: weather recording by hand Image Credit: Bernd Wannenmacher

As of Wednesday, September 25, 2013, the meteorologists at Freie Universität Berlin will be taking orders to assign names to the weather highs and lows for the coming year. In 2014 the highs will be given male names and the lows female names. The prices are still 299 euros for highs and 199 euros for lows. However, as of 2014 the value added tax (VAT), currently 19 percent, must be added. The proceeds will be used to fund the continuous weather observation by students at the Berlin-Dahlem station.

Since 1954 the meteorologists at the Berlin weather station at the Institute of Meteorology at Freie Universität Berlin have been giving names to high and low pressure areas over Central Europe. Since 2002 the naming process has been open to anyone through the Adopt a Vortex program ( Participating individuals support the continuation of the weather observation in Berlin-Dahlem, up to now one of the longest weather series worldwide.

A sponsorship is a popular and rather unique gift for Christmas, birthdays, or other special occasions. Some weather patrons use it as an opportunity to publicize an interesting but not widely known first name. How could anyone forget names like Polykarp, Nandor, or Beibhinn? Or Jill, who brought the coldest March on record. So far almost 2000 individuals from 15 European and other countries including Brazil, Japan, and the United States have already participated in the naming scheme.

The names of the weather sponsors appear in many different media. Both the students and faculty of the institute hope that this will continue into the future because the continuous weather observation is only possible with funding secured through the participation of the public and the use of the names in the media.

Further Information

  • D. Schoster, J. Sieland, S. Wölk, Institute of Meteorology, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-71226, Email:
  • Petra Grasse, Thomas Dümmel, Institute of Meteorology, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30838-71222