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 (www.wetterpate.de). 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.