Rudolf Sulgan has been named winner of the Royal Meteorological Society's Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 for his image Blizzard, showing Brooklyn Bridge in New York during a snow storm.
The striking image was crowned winner today after a panel of judges chose it from a shortlist of 26 photographs, which were selected from more than 7,700 entered into the competition.
The shortlist was announced in August. Click through the gallery above to see all 26 shortlisted photographs.
“I made this image in 2018, during a strong blizzard as El Nino’s periodic warming of water often disrupts normal weather patterns. My main concern and inspiration are that my images hopefully do a small part in combating climate change,” Slovakian photographer Sulgan said of his winning image.
Liz Bentley, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society and panel judge, said: “The weather affects all of our lives and this picture captures that perfectly. Brooklyn Bridge provides an iconic backdrop, but it is the combined effect of snow, wind and freezing temperatures on the people trying to cross the bridge that tells the whole story – it sends a shiver down my spine.”
This was echoed by judge Jesse Ferrell, AccuWeather expert meteorologist: "The best photos make me feel like I was there when they took it, as if I were having their experience. Blizzard does this for me. I feel the full impact – the chill of the winter air, the snowflakes hitting my face, and the people enjoying the snow, with older folks remembering previous snows and children just forming memories that will last for years. The framing is impeccable and pleasing. It captures that moment when snow is falling so hard that it adds a ghostly, otherworldly essence to your surroundings."
The runners up were Vu Trung Huan for Tea Hills and Maja Kraljik for Monster.
Tea Hills depicts a mist over the Long Coc tea hill in Vietnam's Phu Tho Province. While Monster is depicts an enormous shelf cloud over water, of which Kraljik recalls: "I was waiting for two hours for the cloud to arrive and then it made a real mess."
Baikal Treasure by Alexey Trofimov, a photograph of jewel-like ice under snow on Lake Baikal in Russia was named the public's favourite. As well as the judges selecting an overall winner, a public vote was held and received 11,275 votes.
Of Baikal Treasure, Trofimov said: "I took this photo during an expedition on the ice of Lake Baikal. On the first day we arrived at Cape Kotelnikovsky, where I was attracted by ice hummocks and a snow cover. It was noon, not really my photo time. But the light that the sun gave, refracting in blocks of ice, caught my attention and made me take this picture."
Young Weather Photographer of the Year
The title of Young Weather Photographer of the Year was won by 17-year-old Kolesnik Stephanie Sergeevna, from Russia, for her image Frozen Life. The category was open to photographers aged 17 and under.
Of her image, Kolesnik said: “The photo is of a leaf stuck in the ice. I wanted to take this shot because it is a part of sunny summer frozen in ice. Time seems to have stopped for this leaf.”
Bentley added of the image: "Frozen Life freezes time, both figuratively and literally. Captured forever is this moment in time when the leaf slowly froze into the water, but more importantly, as the photographer says, it's a strange juxtaposition of seasons, summer taken over by winter, and I think the progression of the seasons is always fascinating."
The runner-up for Young Weather Photographer of the Year is Emma Rose Karsten, for her image, Surf's Up.