Actually, my husband and me have been using “JANTRA” as an abbreviation for our two first names for over 30 years: JAN and PETRA. But in fact Jantra is also an official female name, and there iseven a river in Bulgaria with that name.

And now there is also a low pressure area that bears this name permanently. For sure you remember the recent heat wave in early / mid-August, which ultimately resulted in various thunderstorms, but initially brought intense hot air streams to Germany.

Since we had already given a star the name “Jantra-11” on the occasion of our eleventh wedding anniversary via “Star Registry”, this time it should be a weather phenomenon. You might have probably asked yourself who selects the names for the weather forecasts when the moderator is standing in front of the isobaric map. Since 1954 these  weather sponsorships functioned as follows (against a contribution between EUR 240.- and 350.-)

Every year in mid-September you can apply to the Free University of Berlin (Institute for Meteorology) for a “name slot” of a high or low pressure area of ​​the following year. The waiting list is sometimes long and the name has to meet certain conditions, but on September 20th, 2019 I finally received the notification that our name “Jantra” had been accepted. Every year around 125-130 highs and lows move across Central Europe and have a significant impact on the weather in Germany, consequently the alphabet is run through five to six times a year when giving names. Concretly we got the prospect of naming the letter “J” in the fourth round approx. due in September.

But already at the beginning of August we received an email from the Free University of Berlin that our low would soon be baptized. At that time, of course, nobody could have known that it would be such a special and influential low (as per definition air pressure below 1000 hPa / hectopascal, turning counterclockwise). I almost feel a bit “guilty” because that particular low caused major damages in the night of August 20th to 21st. in Ireland. Especially in the region of Cork the “lights went off” and 200,000 households were without electricity due to floodings, etc. Since each country can assign its own name, “Jantra” was called/ recorded as „Ellen” in this geographical area.

By definition, a strong high begins at approx. 1025 hPa, a severe low pressure area is below 995 hPa:

The first weather news  we noticed on August 19th, 2020 at 6:35 am, when “Jantra” appeared on Focus-Wetter Online (The Weather Channel):

Meteorologist Sarah Hachenbacher stated via text and videostream the following: “Summer is turning up again with full force . A new heat wave is announced and brings temperatures of up to 37 degrees. We owe the emerging extreme heat to the ex-tropical storm “Kyle”, which caused the mighty storm JANTRA over the British Isles. This means the weather system will shovel very warm air masses into Germany this week. On Wednesday we still have pleasant summer temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees. But as of Thursday and Friday the temperatures in W-Germany will reach maximums of 37 degrees, in the East they are around 29 degrees, on the coast it stays a little fresher at 25 degrees. According to the current forecast, the night temperatures in Cologne and Frankfurt will not fall below the 25-degree mark.

On Saturday, however, the cold front of low JANTRA will finally bring us a temperature drop. The maximum values ​​only make it to 22- 27 degrees. This cooling comes along with violent thunderstorms that move through Germany from West to East during the day. Then the extreme heat is over for the time being. See Youtube link:

In the evening, ZDF meteorologist Katja Horneffer and RTL „weather frog“ Björn Alexander also mentioned the low JANTRA.

On August 20th, 2020 at 10:47 a.m., the DWD (= German Weather Service) put it this way:  Ex-tropical storm “Kyle” fuels heat wave … For some regions in the West, the DWD has issued a heat warning …. Affected by the “heat hammer” are: Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, southern Hesse, districts of Baden-Württemberg and the north of North Rhine-Westphalia. So on Friday we can expect scorching heat. Nevertheless low area “Jantra” has positioned itself over the Atlantic, explains DWD meteorologist Sebastian Altnau. As a result, the current heat is turning even further to the southwest, which means that hot air is increasingly being tapped from the subtropics. The heat peak is expected on Friday. Low “Jantra” settles with its core West of Ireland and then shovels hotter air from the Iberian Peninsula to Germany.

On 08/20/2020 it was said at A low pressure area heats us up…. JANTRA sweeps over the British Isles and…. Here is the Youtube link to weather presenter Corinna Borau:

Even the magazine “Stern” titled with the headline “No more heat, low Jantra on the march”. Meteorologist Stefan Friemel commented it for the ARD/ SR.

ON 08/21/2020:

“Jantra” was also on everyone’s lips in the “Münchner Merkur” and in the Austrian press:

According to “”, Tief JANTRA brings back the heat to Austria. Sun worshipers can look forward to the next few days. Two weeks before the meteorological autumn, hot air comes from southwest Europe to Austria. According to the „severe weather center“, the heat peak will be reached on Friday at about 36 degrees. … But this late midsummer will end on  Saturday, when severe thunderstorms are expected.

Frederik and Jantra on their ways: On Wednesday it is forecast that the „high Frederik“ will reach us from the southwest and “Low Jantr“a is moving into position on the Atlantic.” This unusually strong low for the time of the year ensures such a south-westerly high-altitude valid for us and the temperatures will rise day by day”, says Manfred Spatzierer, chief meteorologist at the severe weather center. … According to the current prognosis, the hottest day in August is expected on Friday and will top the previous temperature of 35.5 degrees – recently recorded in Innsbruck,” predicts the Meteorologist.  Thunderstorms at the weekend: The hot air moves to the Eastern half on Saturday, where it can reach up to 35 degrees. “In the West, on the other hand, the strong cold front from low JANTRA is already noticeable,” says Spatzierer. After a friendly start, more and more thunderstorms occur in the region of Vorarlberg and North Tyrol around noon, and these spread to Salzburg and Upper and Lower Austria by the evening.”

As per the RTL weather studio: heat wave reaches its peak on Friday. West of Ireland the low “Jantra” has established itself and is also reinforced by the former tropical storm “ex-Kyle”. At the same time, very hot air from North Africa is once again brought to us on the front of this low-pressure complex. This is associated with a warm front that gives the north longer cloudy weather, while in the south the sun increasingly prevails again after local rain falls.

In other words: record heat and storms terminate the „DogDdays 2020“. Even if it was not predictable  in June (apart from the north) and July, August was so far over 4 degrees too warm. In the end, August 2020 will certainly be among the hottest August months since beginning of any weather recordings.

By the way, this Low pressure naming was the Christmas present 2019 for my husband. So, if you are once looking for a special surprise, from / until September 16th this year, you still have the opportunity to secure a weather sponsorship for 2021. An individually titled weather map is also provided as a framed souvenir and at the same time your advance payment  supports the German weather research.

The naming of those highs and lows changes every year. In 2020 all low pressure areas had  female names, the highs masculine. In principle, rare name creations with the initials Q, X, Y and Z have particularly good chances – as far as I know there are still options for the end of 2020.

As it is well known, the weather as such is (still) unpredictable, but you can obviously buy a little bit of it.   Oh yes, the weather, … you could talk about it for hours even in Corona times. And according to the meteorologists, further weather escapades will follow.


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