Weather photographers show the power of nature – from furious lightning sprites to dangerous floods – in bid to win title of the year

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From dramatic clouds to majestic halos and rare lighting sprites, photographers are showing the power of nature in stunning images with the hopes of winning the coveted title of Weather Photographer of the Year.

And it’s entirely in the public’s hands.

The competition, which is hosted by the Royal Meteorological Society in association with AccuWeather, has 21 finalists, selected by a panel of experts. 

Pictured: Misty Rainbow – Dani Agus Purnomo

These were painstakingly chosen from 8,900 photos submitted by over 3,300 photographers in 114 countries.

But there’s a dark theme to this year’s entries, with many artists sharing images that reveal the stark reality of climate change on Earth.

One snap shows geese swimming past a sign that reads ‘pedestrians’ in a town where flooding has hit hard and water is covering the streets.

Another mesmerising image features a fog ‘wave’ rolling onto the countryside, almost completely covering the landscape.

One photographer has submitted a photo of a lone tree, standing tall in a snow-covered area, with a rainbow halo above.

“This is our sixth year of the competition and it never fails to amaze me the quality and breadth of images that we receive,” said Liz Bentley, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society.

“Weather and climate is something that we all share, but the drama, as well as the beauty of this force of nature, is something that can be truly unique to specific parts of the world. 

“It’s a privilege to be able to share in those moments as we look through the entries. 

“Many of the photographers capture it so beautifully that you almost feel as if you were there.”

Pictured: Stunning Ice Crystal Halo Phenomenon – Kevin Förster

The vote opens at 11am on 26 August and closes at midnight on 23 September (BST). 

Winners will be announced on 16 October between 1-4pm during an online event, with several titles given out including Weather Photographer of the Year 2021, Young Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 and Public Favourite.

A new category for this year also includes photos taken on mobile phones, which saw 3,250 entries.

“As always, I was very impressed with the quality and calibre of submissions to this year’s competition,” said Jesse Ferrell, senior weather editor at AccuWeather.

A calendar featuring all the winners and finalists of Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 will go on sale via the RMetS online shop later this year.

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