№ 319/2014 from Sep 22, 2014
The meteorologists of Freie Universität Berlin will begin awarding weather sponsorships for 2015 on Wednesday, September 24, at 0:00. The high pressure zones will be given female names in 2015, and the low pressure zones male names. This alternates each year. The prices remain unchanged at 299 euros for highs and 199 euros for lows, plus 19 percent sales tax (VAT). The income is used to finance weather observations made by students at the Berlin-Dahlem weather station.
For the past 60 years the meteorologists at the Berliner Wetterkarte at the Institute of Meteorology, Freie Universität Berlin, have been giving names to high and low pressure areas. In 2002 they opened up the naming process to everybody and set up the Adopt-a-Vortex program (www.met.fu-berlin.de/adopt-a-vortex/ ). The proceeds support the weather observations in Berlin-Dahlem, so that the more than 100-year climate series, which is one of the world's longest, can be continued.
A vortex sponsorship is a popular and rather unique gift for Christmas, birthdays, or other special occasions. Some people use this as an opportunity to get attention for their interesting, but not widely known first names. During the past year the highs and lows have had many different interesting names, from A as in Ariadne and Aymen to Z as in Zelda or Zeus. And who doesn't like to remember the high named "This," that brought the first days of summer in May or the high “Wolfgang,” that at Pentecost brought temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius? Up to now there have been more than 2000 weather sponsors from 15 European countries, plus Brazil, Japan, South Africa, and the United States.
The names are used by the media in their weather reports. The students and faculty of the institute hope this will continue into the future because only active participation by the public and continued mention in the media can secure funding and the continuation of the weather observations in the coming years.