+
upworthy
Science

Check out these breathtaking images from the 2022 Weather Photographer of the Year contest

Rainbows, storm clouds and frozen waterfalls, oh my.

weather photography

Weather is beautiful.

Capturing the perfect image is difficult even under the best of conditions, but when trying to get a snapshot of once-in-a-lifetime moments in nature, the task becomes herculean. The reward, however, is witnessing beauty almost too dazzling to be real.

On Oct. 6, Christopher Ison was awarded the title of Weather Photographer of the Year for his breathtaking photo of storm waves crashing against a lighthouse. According to My Modern Met, judges received entries from more than 119 countries and created a shortlist of 22 stunning images. The annual contest, held by the Royal Meteorological Society, celebrates weather of all forms, from whimsical rainbows to chaotic lightning storms and phenomenon in between.

Below are the eight winners this year. Believe it or not, some pictures were even taken with a smartphone.


Main winner: "Storm Eunice" by Christopher Ison

Photo location: Newhaven, East Sussex, U.K.

Camera: Canon EOS R5

storm eunice

"Storm Eunice"

www.rmets.org

Ison’s bold, dramatic, almost monochromatic image comes as a result of Storm Eunice, an intense cyclone that wreaked havoc in the U.K. in February. Its 122 mph wind speeds set a new record in England.

Needless to say, getting the photo successfully (and safely) would not be easy. Ison chose to head to high ground and stand slightly further away from the harbor wall. With his back to the weather, he snapped the image.

"When the storm was predicted and that it was carrying the first ever red warning for the south coast, I knew I had to find a spot to record it – this was going to be big!" Ison shared.

2nd place: "Frozen" by Zhenhuan Zhou

Photo location: Ontario, Canada

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

niagara falls

"Frozen"

www.rmets.org

Photographer Zhenhuan Zhou perfectly captured the mystical essence of a frozen Niagara Falls in winter. Extreme low temperatures cause sheets of ice to form over the water’s surface, giving the illusion that the Falls have completely stopped, when in reality water continues to flow underneath.

The cold imagery is balanced out by the warm glow of a single light emanating from a cozy cabin, which clearly belongs to some kind of winter fairy.

3rd place: "Ghost Under the Cliff" by Emili Vilamala Benito

Photo location: Tavertet, Barcelona, Spain

Camera: Sony SLT-A99V

Brocken spectre

"Ghost Under The Cliff"

www.rmets.org

The shadowy figure shrouded in a rainbow seen in Emili Benito’s photograph is called a Brocken Spectre—an optical illusion that occurs when the observer’s shadow is magnified as it’s cast onto a cloud or mist.

The Brocken Spectre is a type of glory. Glories are often seen by air travelers, who notice the shadow of their airplane cast on clouds below. The airplane’s shadow will be moving along on the cloud tops, surrounded by a rainbow-like halo of light as it flies through the air.

Public vote winner: "Departing Storm Over Bembridge Lifeboat Station" by Jamie Russell

Photo location: Bembridge, Isle of Wight, U.K.

Camera: Nikon d7500, Sigma 10-20 lens

double rainbows

"Departing Storm Over Bembridge Lifeboat Station"

www.rmets.org

Photographer Jamie Russell has apparently been chasing storms all across the Isle of Wight, capturing gorgeous rainbows. But the one found after a show in Bembridge was the ultimate prize, causing him to rush into “waist-deep water, fully dressed” to compose this image.

This double rainbow comes as a result of sunlight being refracted twice within a raindrop. A key characteristic of the “second bow” is a fainter hue and reversed color sequence.

Mobile category winner: "Sunset" by Aung Chan Thar

Photo location: Kyaikto, Myanmar

Camera: Vivo X70 pro+

Myanmar sunset, sunset photography

"Sunset"

www.rmets.org

This one’s a delight to weather enthusiasts and architecture buffs alike.

The richness of the sunset happens because of Rayleigh scattering, aka nature’s Instagram filter. When the sun is very low (as in sunrise and sunset), its light has to travel further through the atmosphere. Blue light, which is shorter in wavelength than red light, is therefore scattered away and deflected before our eyes can see it. The longer wavelengths of orange and red light are scattered less, and therefore more visible. Not to mention gorgeous.

Mobile category runner-up: "Scotch Mist" by Vince Campbell

Photo location: Tarbet, Loch Lomond, Scotland

Camera: Samsung SM-J530f 3.71mm

scotland photography

"Scotch Mist"

www.rmets.org

I knew that smartphones could take some pretty epic pictures, but I didn’t know they could be this epic.

Photographer Vince Campbell was up before the sun and walking with his dogs Oscar and Ollie to capture this beautiful misty scene.

This is a “misty” scene, rather than a “foggy” one, because of the visibility. Mist and fog are both caused by water droplets suspended in the air close to the ground. Mist is less dense and dissipates more quickly. The rule of thumb is—if you can see more than 1,000 meters (in the pictures, for example, you can see all the way across the lake), then it’s mist. If you can’t see past 1,000 meters, it’s fog.

Young Weather Photographer of the Year winner: "Mammatus Sunset" by Eris Pil

Photo location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Camera: Pixel 3 Phone

Mammatus clouds

"Mammatus Sunset"

www.rmets.org

"The sky was completely lit up in a way I had never seen before, like these beautiful backlit watercolor clouds,” recalled Young Photographer of the Year Eris Pil.

What looks like a Van Gogh painting in the photo are mammatus clouds, which, despite their fluffy, pleasant seeming demeanor, are created under tumultuous conditions. Often, but not always, they are sweet-looking harbingers of severe thunderstorms and even tornados. But hey, they’re nice to look at.

Pil shared that this photo was her “first time ever witnessing” mammatus clouds, and that she hopes for the “opportunity to see them again.”

Young Weather Photographer of the Year runner-up: "Tyndall Effect" by Shreya Nair

Photo location: Trivandrum, India

Camera: Redmi Note 9 Pro

light beams photo

"Tyndal Effect"

www.rmets.org

Photographer Shreya Nair was taking a walk through their backyard in India when they spotted light peaking through the tree canopy.

This heavenly effect is known as the Tyndall effect. Similar to a Rayleigh scattering, the Tyndall effect is a scattering of beams of light that attach to floating particles like smoke or dust. Again, because blue and red light have different wavelengths, they are affected differently during this weather phenomenon. The Tyndall effect is why the sky appears blue.

Wanna bask in beautiful weather year-round from the comfort of your own home? The Weather Photographer of the Year 2023 calendar is available on pre-order.


Time travel back to 1905.

Back in 1905, a book called "The Apples of New York" was published by the New York State Department of Agriculture. It featured hundreds of apple varieties of all shapes, colors, and sizes, including Thomas Jefferson's personal favorite, the Esopus Spitzenburg.






Keep ReadingShow less

Joey Grundl, Milwaukee pizza guy.

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Katerina Holmes|Canva

Mom in tears after another parent calls about daughter's lunch


People say having children is like having your heart walk around outside of your body. You send them off to school, practices or playdates and hope that the world treats them kindly because when they hurt, you hurt. Inevitably there will be times when your child's feelings are hurt so you do your best to prepare for that day.

But what prepares you for when the child you love so much winds up accidentally healing your inner child. A mom on TikTok, who goes by Soogia posted a video explaining a phone call she received from a parent in her daughter's classroom. The mom called to inform Soogia that their kids had been sharing lunch with each other.

Soogia wasn't prepared for what came next. The classmate's mother informed her that her son loves the food Soogia's daughter brings to school and wanted to learn how to cook it too.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Listen to this organ in Croatia that uses the sea to make hauntingly beautiful music

It's a 230-foot-long organ that turns the rhythm of the waves into actual music.


In 2005, a Croatian architect designed a 230-foot-long organ that turns the rhythm of the waves into actual music.

Nope, not nonsensical bellows or chaotic tones. Real, actual, music.

Keep ReadingShow less
Modern Families

A comic from The Oatmeal illustrates how we're missing the mark on happiness.

I do the things that are meaningful to me, even if they don't make me "happy."

By Matthew Inman/The Oatmeal. Used with permission.

How to Be Perfectly Happy


Matthew Inman is the Eisner Award-winning author of The Oatmeal. He's published six books, including New York Times Best-Sellers such as "How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You"and "The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances."He enjoys running marathons, writing comics, and eating cake.

You can read more of Matthew's comics here.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Sweeping UN study finds that 9 out of 10 people worldwide are biased against women

In other words, 9 out of 10 people worldwide—both men and women—are biased against women in vital areas that impact the world in major ways.

Photo by Joe Gardner on Unsplash

As the U.S. ramps into an all-too-familiar presidential election cycle where the only viable candidates left on the ballot are men, the UN announces a study that may—at least partially—explain why.

The Gender Social Norms Index released yesterday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) offers a look at gender equality as measured by people's personal gender bias. The data, which was collected from 75 countries covering 81% of the world's population, found that 91% of men and 86% of women show at least one clear bias against women in the areas of politics, economics, education, and physical integrity.

In other words, 9 out of 10 people worldwide—both men and women—are biased against women in vital areas that impact the world in major ways. Splendid.

Keep ReadingShow less