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September-October 2012

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The 2012 Photo Contest

Every spring, Weatherwise's inbox is filled with spectacular photographs of meteorological events sent in by readers around the country. Entries range from beautiful atmospheric phenomena such as the Aurora Borealis, to quintessential seasonal images such as ice floes, to dramatic storms such as tornadoes. This year, the cloud has taken center stage among the winners of the contest. Our Grand Prize winner is one of the most spectacular examples of mammatus clouds the judges have ever seen. The Grand Prize winner is followed closely by a the First Prize winner, which is a pair of photographs of a lenticular cloud above Mount Rainier in Washington state. The photographs, taken hours apart, provide a stark contrast between day and night with the common thread of the cloud tying the two together. Supercells, wall clouds, cirrus fall streaks, hole clouds, and unusual fog formations make up just some of the other winning cloud photographs this year. Congratulations to these and all of our winners!


Mary Pace

Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska

This spectacular example of mammatus was photographed in Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, on June 25, 2011, after a violent summer storm.


Tyler Mode

Battle Ground, Washington

This day and night pair of photographs shows an unusually long-lasting lenticular cloud above Mount Rainier in Washington State, photographed in September 2011.


Marcus Prazniak

El Cerrito, California

Strong atmospheric distortions create a “Chinese lantern” effect as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean, photographed in Pacifica, California, in summer 2011.


Steven Martin

Phoenix, Arizona

An unusually bright rainbow with a supernumerary bow photographed south of Taos, New Mexico, on September 2, 2006.


Mike Garfield

Buffalo Grove, Illinois

An exceptionally warm and humid March day, along with a slight breeze off a still-cold Lake Michigan, created a spectacular foggy view of the Chicago skyline.


Tony Laubach

Lakewood, Colorado

The sun sets through a supercell featuring arc clouds and a banded underside of an anvil cloud, photographed near Tryon, Nebraska, on August 17, 2011.


Jan Curtis

Gresham, Oregon

A single bolt of lightning traveling up and down a rain shaft, photographed just south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on September 13, 2011. The city lights of Santa Fe are seen reflected on the lower clouds.


Rick Schmidt, Topeka, Kansas

A spectacular example of a mesocyclone outside Jamestown, Kansas, photographed on June 19, 2010.


Tracie Stier-Johnson, Cornelius, North Carolina

Distinct cirrus fallstreaks create an impressive hole cloud in Huntersville, North Carolina, photographed in December 2011.


Marcus Prazniak, El Cerrito, California

Kelvin–Helmholtz waves make a rare and brief appearance over the Bay Area of California, photographed in the fall of 2011.


Neva Anderson, St. Cloud, Minnesota

A windmill provides a striking contrast to a spectacular example of the Aurora Borealis, photographed north of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, on April 23, 2012.


Doug Kiesling, St. Cloud, Minnesota

Ice forms a lily pad pattern on January 22, 2012, along the shore of Lake Superior below the Split Rock Light House in Northern Minnesota.


Megan O'Leary, Sandwich, Massachusetts

Boats are silhouetted at Collins Landing, Massachusetts, to spectacular effect as the sun burns through the fog.


Tony Laubach, Lakewood, Colorado

The sun sets at the end of a stormy day near Pratt, Kansas, on May 20, 2011.

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