A “ghostly, otherworldly” image of snow pummeling a bundled-up crowd on New York’s Brooklyn Bridge helped American photographer Rudolf Sulgan earn the title of Weather Photographer of the Year for 2020. Sulgan’s image rose to the top of shortlist of 26 photographs and 7,700 submissions. The Royal Meteorological Society, in association with AccuWeather, hosts the annual competition.
“I made this image in 2018, during a strong blizzard as El Nino’s periodic warming of water often disrupts normal weather patterns,” Sulgan said of his winning photograph. “My main concern and inspiration are that my images hopefully do a small part in combating climate change.”
Contest judge Jesse Ferrell, an AccuWeather meteorologist, praised the image.
“I feel the full impact — the chill of the winter air, the snowflakes hitting my face, and the people enjoying the snow, with older folks remembering previous snows and children just forming memories that will last for years,” Ferrell said. “It captures that moment when snow is falling so hard that it adds a ghostly, otherworldly essence to your surroundings.”
Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 winners show ice, lightning and rainbows
Kolesnik Stephanie Sergeevna from Russia, age 17, won the Young Weather Photographer of the Year honor for her image, Frozen Life, depicting a leaf frozen in ice.
Members of the public voted on their favorite from the 26 finalists. Alexey Trofimov of Siberia took the public’s favorite image, which shows the eerie icy surface of Lake Baikal in that region. The uneven freezing of the lake results in some ice blocks being pushed up and then sculpted by the wind, melting and refreezing, forming striking turquoise ice formations.