Striking images of West Bengal weather make the shortlist for prestigious British award

Barun Rajgaria turns the lens on extreme heat in India for his Royal Meteorological Society award-shortlisted series

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Dramatic storms, frozen vistas and incredible sunsets are among the shortlisted images for the Royal Meteorological Society's annual award, Weather Photographer of the Year. As are photos that depict the effects of climate change on the natural world.

Photographers from 119 countries have put forward their best weather photos from across the world, showcasing unique perspectives of the planet and sharing the stories behind them, in a bid to win the coveted prize.

Two of those shortlisted hail from India, highlighting West Bengal. Using a drone, Shibasish Saha, from Kolkata, captured the monsoon season in the wetlands for Waterlily Harvesting, with people collecting the flowers to sell at the local market.

'Waterlily Harvesting' from Kolkata, India, by Shibasish Saha of India. Photo: Shibasish Saha / Weather Photographer of the Year

For In Search of Water, Barun Rajgaria put the focus on extreme heat in Purulia. He said: ”Drought, the women and children of the village have to make deep pits in the dry river, in which the frozen water quenches the thirst of the people here".

Scroll through the gallery above to see more of the finalists’ work

A judging panel has narrowed down the finalists and now the public can vote for their favourite via the website before the winners are announced on October 6.

Voting opens on Thursday from 10am British Summer Time and closes on September 21 at midnight.

“I am always amazed by something new, something I haven’t seen before, or a new angle that reignites my passion for discussing the weather,” said professor Liz Bentley, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society.

“As the competition has grown over the past seven years, it has allowed us to create a platform where more stories can be told about the majesty and awe of the world’s weather and witness scenes of the impacts of climate change, which can help to prompt action.”

Contest judge and retired AccuWeather chief meteorologist, Elliot Abrams, said: “Together, the entrants illustrated their keen eye and passion for weather and provided us with a greater window into this most fascinating, stirring and ever-changing phenomenon.”

The finalists' work will be featured in a calendar that will go on sale online later this year, and the winners will receive cash prizes.

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Updated: August 24, 2022, 8:13 PM
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