Massive lightning bolt illuminates tiny Med village in stunning pic competing for Weather photographer of the year

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A JAGGED bolt of lightning illuminating a small Med village has become a dramatic finalist in the 2019 Weather Photographer of the Year contest.

It’s now up to the public to choose which of 24 finalists – whittled down from an impressive 5,700 entries – should rightfully claim top honours.

Could lightning strike twice for this stunning shot, of a bolt hitting Riomaggiore in Italy, taken by Elena Salviai
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Unbelievable swirls of colour here, as Andrei Baskevich has taken this image of the northern lights called ‘In Slow Dance’
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This pic is a perfect storm for photographer Jay Birmingham, who visited Porthcawl, Wales, during inclement weather
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Aliens in the Alps? This photo by Iain Afshar has a Lenticular cloud formation in the Alps. This type of cloud is often confused for UFOs because of its smooth, round or oval lens-shape
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Rain sprinkling the Thames Barrier, spanning the river Thames in London, turns these huge gates into a glistening work of art, taken by Brian Denton
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This incredible picture supplied by Peng-Gang Fang shows a stranded ship after a typhoon in Taiwan
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It’s easy to get misty-eyed over this image, a drone shot taken of Scotney Castle in Kent in the early morning by Chris Brown
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An urban-based contender here, as snapper Christine Holt shows rain through the window of a bus in Memphis, US
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Thousands of photos were sent to the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS), in association with WeatherPro, depicting weather phenomena from around the world, including clouds, lightning, rain, fog and snow.

Others showed the impact of weather on humans, cities and the natural landscape.

Dennis Schulze, chief meteorology officer at MeteoGroup, who was one of this year’s judges, said: “With so many high-quality and exciting photos submitted it was a tough choice we had to make.

“The shortlisted images show the passion with which the photographers captured both rare and pretty common weather events.

“And many do not just show the weather event itself, but you can also feel the impact on our lives.”

On top of the world: Gareth Mon Jones’s dreamy photo, dubbed ‘Above My Expectations’, centres on temperature inversion/cloud inversion in Snowdonia at dawn
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A picture called Black Rock features the New Brighton lighthouse in the Wirral taken by Steve W Carr
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Unsurprisingly, Patrick Hochner’s photo is titled ‘Pouring Down’ – with a young maiko (apprentice geisha) protecting herself while walking around Miyagawa-Cho, Kyoto, Japan
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This picture of mammoth waves, by Dan Portch, shows Storm Erik hitting Newhaven, East Sussex in England
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Looks good enough to eat: Bingyin Sun took this photo, ‘Cinammon Rolls Cloud’, depicting a windy evening in Iceland
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Elena Belozorova’s image shows a so-called ‘fogbow’ in a wintry Croatia
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This windswept pic by Lee Acaster highlights colourful beach huts in Southwold, Suffolk, in the snow
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Liz Bentley, CEO of RMetS, said the society “was overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of outstanding images submitted to the Weather Photographer of the Year competition this year, celebrating weather and climate in its many different forms.

“The photographs speak volumes about our obsession in the weather – capturing its beauty, its power and its fragility in the face of human activity.”

To view the 24 short-listed images and cast your vote visit www.photocrowd.com/wpoty-2019-voting/ and follow the instructions.

This simple yet effective picture by Brian Bayliss has ‘snow rollers’ in a Wiltshire field during a cold snap
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Submitted by Dennis Oswald, this photo shows a huge supercell with frequent cloud-to-ground lightning moving over farmland in southwestern Oklahoma, America
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An interesting shot by drone depicts ‘Air’ by Steve Baker. His shot features the ‘Beast from the East’ snow storm taken over Tunbridge Wells in Kent, England
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Kevin Juberg’s photo of ‘Apocalyptic’, a panoramic view of one of the world’s largest haboobs – an intense dust record – on record in Arizona, US
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Christoph Schaarschmidt took this glorious picture, ‘Fichtelberg’, showing winter on the Fichtelberg mountain in Germany
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Stu Short took this picture, featuring panicking stormchasers racing away from a monster supercell in New Mexico
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‘Flood’, by Mohammad Moheimani, is another drone shot, showing a road in northern Iran flooded by water on New Year’s Eve
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