What better way could there be to spend time than sifting through hundreds of photographs of spectacular, unusual, and beautiful weather events? The annual Weatherwise Photo Contest judges enjoy every minute of their job, but they take it very seriously as they work together to pick the best of the crop from each year's entries. This year's contest was all about clouds—shelf clouds, fog, mammatus, undulatus asperatus, anvil clouds, funnel clouds, and fall streaks. Our judges had their work cut out for them as they sifted through our many entries to pick the best, and we think you'll agree that the winners are pretty amazing. They represent some of the best depictions of the different cloud formations we have seen, in addition to examples of some other pretty spectacular weather phenomena. Thank you as always to everyone who entered this year's contest, and congratulations to the winners!
Oroville, California, USA
Cumulonimbus anvil cloud with inflowing cirrus, photographed in Oroville, California, on May 9, 2013.
Grayslake, Illinois, USA
Mammatus photographed in the setting sun after a non-tornadic supercell dropped hail on onlookers. Photographed outside of Amarillo, Texas, on April 30, 2012.
Warrenville, Illinois, USA
A tornado lifts into a funnel cloud, just prior to passing over a dirt road in central Canada.
Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
The setting sun offsets lightning and a rainbow, photographed in Castle Rock, Colorado, on July 31, 2012.
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Fallstreaks and altocumulus, photographed in Monument Valley, Arizona, on December 6, 2012.
Grayslake, Illinois, USA
Non-tornadic supercell with sunset and rainstreaks, photographed near Oakley, Kansas, on June 3, 2011.
Kendall Park, New Jersey, USA
Ice forms the shape of a trilobite along the edge of Shallow Brook, Plainsboro Preserve in Plainsboro, New Jersey, on January 23, 2013.
Randy Hathaway, Maumelle, Arkansas, USA
Wave clouds, photographed in Maumelle, Arkansas, on April 26, 2013.
Kyle James Blekicki, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Maine sunset reflected in water, photographed in Stonington, Maine, in September, 2012.
Timothy Tonge, Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
Towering cumulonimbus cloud and setting sun, photographed at Castle Rock, Colorado, on June 25, 2001.
Jan Curtis, Gresham, Oregon, USA
A crater covered in snow photographed from 36,000 feet at SP Crater, Arizona, on January 25, 2010.
Frank Wells, Santa Rita, Guam
Cumulonimbus and iridescent altocumulus with crepuscular rays and a shadow, photographed in Guam, on June 25, 2012.
Lynne Fawcett Fishman, Heber City, Utah, USA
Morning fog photographed in Heber Valley, Utah, on October 14, 2012.
Nathan Gates, Longwood, Florida, USA
Cumulus with lightning and a sunset, photographed near Lake Monroe in Sanford, Florida, on June 11, 2012.
Thomas Adams, Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA
Towering cumulus penetrates altocumulus creating a shadow and rainstreaks, photographed in Leggs Mesa, Massachusetts, on August 13, 2012.
Laura Hedien, Grayslake, Illinois, USA
Arc cloud with fallstreaks, photographed near Piedmont, Oklahoma, on May 28, 2012.