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 for more than 60 years. Since 2002 the naming process has been open to anyone through the Adopt a Vortex program. Participating individuals support students in their practical training as well as 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. This year some of the more unusual names given to high and low pressure zones were Oceana, Myrna, Muck, or Schekiba. Some of the names will be remembered simply for the weather they brought: At the beginning of May, the high named Peter brought the first warm summer days, but it was Wolfgang in June and Gerd in August that caused hot summer temperatures.
Many media utilize the names in their weather reports. Anka and Albert were the first names of pressure zones to be printed in Berlin newspapers on November 1, 1954. 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. So far more than 2500 individuals from 15 European and other countries including Brazil, Japan, South Africa, and the United States have already participated in the naming scheme.