Ever seen a perfect rainbow? This is Weather Photographer of the Year 2021

weather photography
(Image credit: Dani Agus Purnomo)

This year’s shortlist for Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 has just been announced – now you can help decide the winner. More than 8,900 photographs have been whittled down to just 21, showcasing the magic and might of natural phenomena. 

Over 3,300 photographers from 114 countries entered this year’s competition. Submissions depicted everything from dramatic clouds and majestic rainbows, to ethereal lightning storms and even the consequences of climate change. Images were shot on cameras as varied as a Nikon D3200, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and an Olympus PEN-F, proving that amazing imagery isn't all about the latest kit.

Indeed, for the first time ever, the competition included a mobile phone category that attracted more than 3,250 entries. There was also an award for Young Weather Photographer of the Year aimed at budding photographers aged 13-17.

The Weather Photographer of the Year, hosted by The Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) in association with AccuWeather, is now in its sixth year. This year winners have the chance to win up to $500, a voucher for Rei adventure gear, and a copy of Weather – A Force of Nature: Spectacular images from Weather Photographer of the Year.

(Image credit: Danijel Palčić)

"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," said Liz Bentley, Chief Executive of the RMetS. "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."

Winners of the main and mobile categories, the Public Vote and Young Photographer of the Year, as well as runners up will be announced at RMetS WeatherLive: From One Extreme to Another. It is an online event aimed at weather enthusiasts where they can explore and discuss a range of weather extremes and their causes, and it will take place on 16 October 2021 between 13:00-16:00 (BST) – and registration is now open.

A panel of experts has chosen their top three winners in the main category, and now the public is invited to select their favorite from the twenty-one finalists. The vote is open from 11:00 on 26 August and will close on 23 September at midnight. To enter your vote, head to photocrowd.com/wpotyvote – and you can see a selection of this year's submissions below. 

(Image credit: Michelle Cowbourne)

(Image credit: Itay Kaplan)

(Image credit: Giulio Montini)

(Image credit: Andrew McCaren)

weather photography

(Image credit: Kevin Förster)

(Image credit: Jiming Zhang)

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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.