Storm chasers sought for global weather photography contest

Tim Moxon won Weather Photographer of the Year 2016 for his picture Tornado On Show. Picture: Contributed
Tim Moxon won Weather Photographer of the Year 2016 for his picture Tornado On Show. Picture: Contributed
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It could be anything from a surreal brocken spectre to dramatic blood rain, a colourful circumzenithal arc or a blazing sun dog.

Or maybe it’s the psychedelic northern lights, a swirling tunnel cloud, a jagged fork of lightning or even a glowing moon halo.

Whatever the weather phenomenon, if you have captured it on film it could win you a prestigious photography prize.

The Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) and Royal Photographic Society (RPS) are calling for entries for a global competition to find the Weather Photographer of the Year and Young Weather Photographer of the Year for 2017.

Photographers from anywhere in the world, professional or amateur, can enter.

Organisers are looking for the best images depicting weather in its widest sense.

Subjects could range from phenomena such as clouds, fog or snow, through to the impact of weather on humans, cities and the natural landscape, they say.

As long as the images are “stunning”, dramatic in what they depict or because of the story they tell about the impact of conditions.

It is only the second time the contest has ever been run, after it was successfully launched last year.

Finalists will be selected by a panel of meteorologists, photographers and photo editors who will be looking for creations that combine photographic skill with meteorological observation.

BBC weather presenter Matt Taylor has been confirmed as one of the judges for the competition.

He started his career at the Met Office, where he spent much of his time forecasting for the RAF.

He is now a familiar face as one of the BBC’s Weather Centre team.

“Even when we’re forecasting the calmest of weather conditions you can still get immense drama through subtle changes in sky cover and light,” he said.

“I’ll be looking for a photograph that captures the emotions of an ever-changing sky.”

RPS chief executive Dr Michael Pritchard and RMetsS chief executive Professor Liz Bentley are also on the judging panel.

Prizes range from £150 to £500 in cash to a Go-Pro Hero action cam.

Entries close on 7 June and winners will be announced at the RMetS Amateur Meteorologists’ Conference later this year.