This issue brings to you, our readers, the 2016 Weatherwise Photo Contest, in which amateur photographers from around the country submit their best photos of weather to see how their efforts stack up against the competition. As always, the best photos are the result of a little bit of luck, a little bit of skill, and a lot of weather. And as always, our judges had a challenge choosing the winners. Our panel of judges consists of Bob Ryan, former president of the American Meteorological Society; Stanley David Gedzelman, a retired professor of meteorology at the City College of New York; and Doyle Rice, Weather Editor at USA Today.
The judges were impressed by this year's particularly robust selection of photos—there were many that could have made the grade as winners. But in the end the judges were able to choose 14 photos that best exemplify the power, beauty, and excitement of weather. The photos selected balance quality of image with rarity of the phenomenon photographed.
Some of the best photos this year were of crepuscular and anti-crepuscular rays, auroras, funnel clouds, dust devils, banner clouds, lenticular clouds, arc clouds, mammatus, coronas, and halos. Take a look at the winning photos for yourself and see which images the judges considered the best of the best. Congratulations to all our winners!
Not to be outdone by the beautiful photos in the contest, we have three excellent features to accompany the Photo Contest. First, we have the latest installment in our weather of the 50 states series, looking at “The Weather and Climate of Texas.” The saying “everything is bigger in Texas” holds true even for weather! This issue also features an examination of how ice cores are helping climatologists better understand changes in our planet's weather and an intriguing look at how Founding Father Alexander Hamilton's life and career were changed by a single meteorological event.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Weatherwise. It is full of fascinating and beautiful meteorology that should provide something for everyone.