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Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 is open now – with a £500/$690 top prize

Weather PotY 2021 launch listing image
This dramatic shot, ‘Monster’ by Maja Kraljik, was third-place winner of Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 (Image credit: © Maja Kraljik/Weather Photographer of the Year)

Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 is open now, and entries can be made in three categories – with a top prize of £500/$690 going to the winner. 

This international competition is now in its sixth year and is organized by the UK’s Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS), in association with AccuWeather, the commercial weather forecasting services company. 

Over 7,700 entries were submitted to 2020’s competition, which was won by Rudolf Sulgan for his shot ‘Blizzard’. 

So if you have an amazing weather shot that needs to be seen by a wider audience, then don’t delay – Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 is open until 29 June 2021. 

In keeping with government and public health authority guidance, all local instructions on travel must be followed while taking part in the competition.

Photographers can upload up to five images to each of the three categories, and there is no entry fee. Click here to enter.

Weather PotY 2021 launch image 2

‘Blizzard’ by Rudolf Sulgan, the winning entry of Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 (Image credit: Rudolf Sulgan/Weather Photographer of the Year)

New for 2021: mobile phone category 

New for this year, a mobile phone category has been added. The judges are looking to encourage entries from anyone with a passion for the environment and photography to enter on a level playing field. 

Capturing a great shot of the weather is often as simple as being in the right place at the right time – and with most people carrying a mobile phone, we are all well placed to witness the weather we are experiencing, without having to travel.

Photograph titled Baikal Treasure by Alexey Trofimov

‘Baikal Treasure’ by Alexey Trofimov, the Public Winner of Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 (Image credit: Alexey Trofimov/Weather Photographer of the Year 2020)

Weather PotY 2021 categories

Weather Photographer of the Year

All photographers aged 13 and over can enter the main Weather Photographer of the Year category. 

1st place wins: £500/$690 cash, $350 voucher for REI*, copy of WPOTY book, and one-year membership of RMetS

Young Weather Photographer of the Year

Photographers aged between 13 and 17 on the final day of submissions (29th June 2021) can enter the Young Weather Photographer of the Year category. 

Winner receives: $350 voucher for REI*, copy of WPOTY book, and one-year membership of RMetS

Weather Photographer of the Year (Mobile Phone) 

All photographers aged 13 and over can enter images taken with a phone or tablet into the Weather Photographer of the Year (Mobile Phone category) category.

Winner receives: $350 voucher for REI*, copy of WPOTY book, and one-year membership of RMetS 

One of the 26 finalists in Weather Photographer of the Year 2020, ‘El Chaltén’ by Francisco Javier Negroni Rodriguez (Image credit: Francisco Javier Negroni Rodriguez/Weather Photographer of the Year 2020)

Meet the judges 

This year’s line-up of judges includes experienced meteorologists, photographers and photo editors. 

Together they will look for images that combine photographic skill with meteorological observation. 

Shortlisted entries in the main category will also be put to a public vote in August and September to discover the popular favorite. 

Here is the full list of Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 judges: 

  • Liz Bentley, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society 
  • Rudolf Sulgan, reigning Weather Photographer of the Year 
  • Kevin Thomas, photo editor of RMetS’ Weather magazine
  • Aisling Creevey, Meteorologist and ITV weather presenter
  • Jesse Ferrell, social media manager at AccuWeather 
  • Jo Bradford, guest judge for Mobile Phone category

Weather PotY 2021 launch image 3

‘Surf's Up’, the runner-up in Young Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 (Image credit: Emma Rose Karsten/Weather Photographer of the Year)

Reigning Weather Photographer of the Year, Rudolf Sulgan, said: “I’m forever grateful to the Royal Meteorological Society for organizing such an interesting and meaningful photography contest. 

“I was extremely humbled just to be among the very talented finalists and becoming the RMetS Weather Photographer of the Year (2020) was a great honor for me.

“Documenting climate change is a critical commitment of mine for raising awareness of this stark reality.”

AccuWeather’s Jesse Ferrell added: “We are delighted to partner once more with the RMetS for this competition, which captures and celebrates the beauty and awe of weather. 

“Just as we check our watches, we check the weather multiple times daily on our app, planning our day and our lives around the weather forecast. 

“In addition, expanding consideration to include a mobile camera category will surely add an exciting new dimension to this year’s competition.”

Boris Jordan's ‘Mammatus Outbreak’, which made the final cut in Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 (Image credit: Boris Jordan/Weather Photographer of the Year 2020)

Enter Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 now

Visit photocrowd.com/wpoty to enter.  

The winners of Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 and Young Weather Photographer of the Year 2021 will be announced on Saturday 16 October 2021. 

The winner of the mobile phone category and the public vote, and runners up from each category, will also be revealed. 

The closing date for entries is midnight UK time on Tuesday, 29 June 2021 at – which is 20.00 (EDT), 19.00 (CDT) or 17.00 (PDT) in the US.

Click here to view the winning entries from Weather Photographer of the Year 2020. 

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Niall Hampton

Niall is the editor of Digital Camera magazine and has been shooting on interchangeable lens cameras for two decades, and on various point-and-shoot models for years before that. 


Working alongside professional photographers for many years as a jobbing journalist gave Niall the curiosity to also start working on the other side of the lens, and these days his favored shooting subjects include wildlife, travel and street photography, plus dabbling with studio still life.