Capturing the force of nature – winners of Weather Photographer of the Year 2021

Giulio Montini Weather photographer of the year 2021
(Image credit: © Giulio Montini - Weather Photographer of the Year 2021)

The Royal Meteorological Society has just announced the winners for Weather Photographer of the Year 2021. More than 8,900 photos were submitted by more than 3,300 photographers from 114 countries but the top prize was won by Italian photographer Giulio Montini.

A spectacular image taken from a small church on a hilltop in the town of Airuno, in the Lecco province of Italy captured the judges attention. Giulio Montini explains, "The photo can only be taken from one point… Under the mist passes the river Adda. In the autumn months on some days, it is possible to see this show with the first lights of sunrise. After 20 minutes, everything is over."

• Read more: Best cameras for landscape photography

Young Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 was awarded to 17-year-old Phoenix Blue from Kansas. The impressive image was taken in Goddard in the US just before a storm and depicted bright blue storm clouds and what's even more amazing is it was taken on an iPhone. 

21 shortlisted images were put to a public vote, gaining more than 12,000 responses. The public favorite was Lighting from an isolated storm over Cannes Bay taken by Serge Zaka from France. 

(Image credit: © Christopher de Castro Comeso - Weather Photographer of the Year 2021)

For the first time ever, Weather Photographer of the Year featured a mobile category, marking how advanced smartphone camera technology is these days. The judges picked their top 10 favorite images but Christopher de Castro Comeso took first prize with his image Foggy Morning taken of the Qasr Al Hosn, one of the oldest landmarks in Abu Dhabi.

Runners up included Evgeny Borisov for her image Self Portrait in a Boat and public favorite winner Serge Zaka for the same image, Lighting from an isolated storm over Cannes Bay. Fynn Gardner, aged 14 was the runner-up for the Young Weather Photographer of the Year while Susan Kyne Andrews came second in the mobile category. 

All winner's and runners up received a free year's membership for the Royal Meteorological Society. Overall winners also won a cash prize and a copy of Weather - A Force of Nature: Spectacular images from Weather Photographer of the Year or a signed copy Smart Phone Smart Photography by Jo Bradford. 

Winners were announced at a virtual WeatherLive event on 16 October and a calendar featuring the best of Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 is now available to buy via the  RMetS online shop.

To view the full list of winners and prizes head to the Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 website.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.