What is weather?

The World Meteorlogical Office defines weather as: 'The state of the atmosphere at a specific time. It is the short term or instantaneous variations of the atmosphere, as opposed to the long term, or climatic, changes' and the dictionary definition is: 'the state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time as regards heat, cloudiness, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.'.

For the AccuWeather / RMetS Weather Photographer of the Year we are certainly looking for images that depict the atmosphere at a specific time. This could include, for example, clouds, precipitation such as rain, snow or hail and wind but we are also looking for images that show the outcome of weather on the ground and on people. This might simply a dramatic image of clouds but it could show how weather impacts through flooding, wind damage, snow drifts or heat on the earth.

We're not looking for images showing the longer term impact of weather, such as climate change, on the environment, landscapes or people. There are other competitions that deal with this. In 2016 we saw some wonderful entries which showed the the milky way and the Aurora Borealis - these are not weather and there are other competitions which deal with astronomical subjects. 

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