Meteorologists at the university have traditionally sold off the names for weather systems to finance their 24-hour weather monitoring, and run through the alphabet – but are missing male names starting with V. There are also spaces free for names starting with X, N and P during 2013.
This year low pressure systems, which are generally associated with rainy weather, are being given male names – and the right to decide on the name can be bought for €199.
High pressure systems will be given female names – and because they are more popular, being associated with better weather, have nearly sold out despite costing €299.
The weather system sponsor not only has the chance to determine the name of a high or low, but also receives a certificate and a description of ‘their’ weather.
Nicknames are allowed – such as Pille, which was secured by a man called Philipp Kretschmer, and Schorsch which comes from a sponsor called Gregor Himmler.
The Free University names are not official but have been adopted by meteorologists from the German Weather Service for years. The practice of giving weather systems names only became firmly established in Germany in the early 1990s, after the winter storms Vivian and Wiebke.
The weather sponsorship team said they would auction off any remaining options to name a system on Ebay if they were unable to find enough customers.