Images: Amazing Shots of Storms Light Up Weather Photo Contest

The first Weather in Focus photo contest by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has produced some stunning shots, from a massive funnel cloud to raindrops decorating the underside of a leaf. Out of more than 2,000 entries, the judges chose three winners and an honorable mention in each of four categories: Science in Action; Weather, Water & Climate; Professional Submissions; and In the iMoment — photos taken with phone cameras and mobile devices. [Read the full story on the weather photo contest]

Rolling clouds in Lake Tahoe

Rolling clouds over Lake Tahoe, taken by Christopher LeBoa, won third prize in the "In the iMoment" category, or the "smartphone images." (Credit: Christopher LeBoa.)

Spring Captured

Freezing rain attempts to halt spring in this image captured by Mike Shelby, from Elkridge, Maryland, taking home second place in the "smartphone images" category. (Credit: Mike Shelby.)

Smoky Mountains

First place in the smartphone-image category, a gorgeous image of the Smoky Mountains by Elijah Burris from Canton, North Carolina. (Credit: Elijah Burris)

Alien tech?

The Atmospheric Research Observatory has an alien feel in this image taken by Joseph Phillips of Boulder, Colorado. The image won honorable mention in the Science in Action category. According to NOAA: "Science is an exciting field, and many find weather and climate particularly spellbinding, but without talented atmospheric and climate scientists we could not uncover the many mysteries of the world. Images depict researchers working in field or laboratory settings." (Credit: Joseph Phillips)

A stark contrast

Another image by Phillips of the Atmospheric Research Observatory at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. This one with the northern lights in the background received third place in the Science in Action category. (Credit: Joseph Phillips)

At work

Photographer captures the aurora in this image by Christopher Morse of Fairbanks, Alaska. The image took home second place in the Science in Action category. (Credit: Christopher Morse)

Beauty and technology

Mike Zorger of Falls Church, Virginia, snapped this beauty: The Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. Judges gave this image first place in the Science in Action category. (Credit: Mike Zorger)

Fire in the Sky

This "Fire in the Sky over Glacier National Park" by Sashikanth Chintla, of North Brunswick, New Jersey, won one of two honorable mentions in the Weather, Water & Climate category. (Credit: Sashikanth Chintla)

Beauty in simplicity

The other honorable mention in the "weather" category went to Alana Peterson's image of raindrops on a leaf (Credit: Alana Peterson, Maple Lake, MN.)

With a Bang

The image "With a Bang" by Bob Larson of Prescott, Arizona, took home third place in the Weather, Water & Climate category. NOAA describes this category: "Remember safety first, but sometimes weather can develop in the blink of an eye supplying amazing photographic opportunities. Images depict both the subtle and extreme power of weather and climate, including images of extreme drought, floods, thunderstorms, tornadoes as well as snowscapes and landscapes." (Credit: Bob Larson, Prescott, AZ.)

Beauty in the sky

Second place in the Weather, Water & Climate category went to Ken William's image of a proton arc over Lake Superior (Credit: Ken William, Clio, Michigan)

Snow Express

An image called "Snow Express" by Conrad Stenftenagel of Saint Anthony, Indiana, won first place in the Weather, Water & Climate category. This image was a personal favorite of one of the photo contest judges. "I told the other judges when we went over these, 'That's the kind of picture I would put in my living room,'" said Douglas Hilderbrand, a contest judge and meteorologist with the National Weather Service. (Credit: Conrad Stenftenagel)

Shrouded in mystery

Robert Raia captures this black-and-white photo of fog rolling in from the ocean on a hot summer day in Belmar, New Jersey. The shot garnered honorable mention in the "professional" category. (Credit: Robert Raia.)

A roadblock

Brad Goddard, an engineer and professional photographer in Orion, Illinois, took home first, second and third places in the professional category of the photo contest. Here, his third-place entry, shows a tornado barreling across a road in Reinbeck, Iowa, on July 6, 2014. (Credit: Brad Goddard, Orion, IL.)

A debris cloud

That July 6 storm spawned more than one tornado, and that evening Goddard took a photo of a second tornado near Traer, Iowa, as the sun set behind him, lighting up the funnel cloud in orange. (Credit: Brad Goddard)

A show of power

Goddard snapped this winning photograph (Stars behind the storm) in May 2014 after chasing the storm for three or four hours, just south of Julesburg, Colorado. "As it pulled away, it was still putting out a bunch of lightning, but it was the only cloud around, so I got the really amazing starry sky off to the east above the storm," he told Live Science. (Credit: Brad Goddard)

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