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High or Low, That is the Question

Verein Berliner Wetterkarte e. V. in cooperation with Freie Universität assigns names for weather in 2019 – Starting at 00:00 on September 12, 2018

№ 231/2018 from Sep 10, 2018

As of September 12, the meteorologists at the nonprofit association Berliner Wetterkarte e. V. and Freie Universität Berlin are once again awarding weather sponsorships for the coming year. Applications can be made online at www.wetterpate.de beginning at 00:00 on September 12. The proceeds will be used to continue the weather observation at the Berlin-Dahlem station, which is carried out by students every hour. The German Weather Service makes the data available to the worldwide weather network: Every national weather service around the world can continue to use the data for weather forecasts, climate statistics, and other meteorological purposes. In 2019 high pressure zones will be given female first names and low pressure zones male names. The basic prices will remain constant at 299 euros for highs and 199 euros for lows; in both cases 19 percent VAT is added.

The meteorologists at the Berlin weather station at the Institute of Meteorology, 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. The participating individuals thus help support the weather observation in Berlin-Dahlem and the practical training of meteorology students. The 110-year climate series at the Berlin-Dahlem station is one of the longest in the world.

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 Nollaig, Elisonia, Vadjma, or Youenn. Some of the names will be remembered simply for the weather they brought: While the highs Fritz and Hartmut caused a cold snap at the end of February with highs of only minus 5° C, the high Quinlan with temperatures of more than 25° C brought summer at the beginning of May. The hot and dry conditions continued, especially in East Germany, through the highs Falk and Johannes. Only occasional low-pressure areas brought cooling: in early August, Low Nadine lowered the day’s high temperature of about 35° C to 25° C. A few weeks earlier, the lows Gislinde and Juli brought rain to some regions, especially long-awaited by farmers.

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. So far more than 2500 individuals from 16 European countries as well as from Brazil, Japan, the United States, and South Africa have already participated in the naming scheme.

Further Information


  • E. Siebenlist, S. Meier, and D. Dietzel, Adopt-a-Vortex Team, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel: +49 30 838 71226 or +49 30 838 71225
  • Petra Grasse and Thomas Dümmel, Institute of Meteorology, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel: +49 30 838 71222 or +49 30 838 71200