Witness the Awesome Power of Nature Through UK Weather Photo Contest

Witness the Awesome Power of Nature Through UK Weather Photo Contest


Villarrica Volcano, Chile – credit Francisco Negroni via SWNS

From lava illuminating clouds above a volcano to an icy wonderland, these are just some of the over 3,000 photographs submitted to the 2023 Royal Meteorological Society’s weather photo competition.

Just in time for World Photography Day, the competition is now in its eighth year, and acts as an observation deck to the vastly different climates experienced across the world.

Both amateur and professional photographers from 94 countries have shared their pictures and stories for the competition.

The photograph above was captured by Chilean photographer Francisco Negroni, who imaged the clouds above this volcano with a three-minute exposure time to capture the faint light coming from the lava inside. During that period, the turning of the Earth shifted the stars’ positions to make them appear as blurry streaks.

The clouds are what are known as “lenticular clouds” which form when air flowing over the ground encounters an obstacle like a volcano. This causes the air to rise and cool, which can allow moisture to condense and form clouds.

credit – Cristiano Xavier, via SWNS

Cristiano Xavier from Brazil followed a large storm hoping it might give him a chance to get a shot of a tornado. Tornadoes are typically created by large storms known as supercells. Variations in wind speeds can cause a rotation in the air, which the storm can pull into a vertical vortex.

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If this vortex or funnel cloud reaches the ground, then that’s a tornado, and the intense winds can suck up debris and cause serious damage.

“Luckily this tornado stayed over the crops and didn’t destroy any buildings,” Xavier noted.

Fichtelberg Mountain by Christoph Schaarschmidt via SWNS

“It was not easy to photograph this landscape because it was about -14 degrees that evening, with strong winds,” said German photographer Christoph Schaarschmidt, who took this photograph of a mountain landscape turned into ice sculptures on Fichtelberg Mountain in Saxony, Germany.

credit – Matthew Price via SWNS

Brocken specters are caused by the shadow of the observer projected onto the mist, often creating the illusion of huge, distant, ghostly figures.

In this photo taken on Hanter Hill in Wales, Matthew Price and his wife spotted the brocken specter that their shadows were creating in the fog.

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Using a drone to take a selfie, the specter is surrounded by twinkling rainbow colors as different frequencies of light are reflected back to the camera at different angles by the water droplets in the mist.

Open voting runs until September 24th, and the winner will be selected on October 4th. You can vote for these or any of the other stunning images, like a 6-sided snowflake hanging on the edge of a pine tree branch, or mystical red sprites above a Chinese mountain, here on the contest website.

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