Revealed the striking winning images in the Storm Photos of the Year contest

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Electric photography! Revealed the striking winning images in an international storm photography competition, from stunning lightning strikes to incredible tornadoes and looming cloud formations

  • The inaugural Storm Photos of the Year competition saw entries pour in from all over the world
  • There were two categories in the competition: Photographer of the Year and Photo of the Year
  • American storm chaser Scott Peake won Photo of the Year with a stunning shot of a tornado and a rainbow

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Talk about striking photos.

These are the exciting winners and finalists of the inaugural Storm Photos of the Year contest – and they showcase the wildest weather of 2020.

There were two categories in the competition, Photographer of the Year and Photo of the Year, with entries from all over the world, from the bright lights of Manhattan to the wilderness of Australia.

American storm chaser Scott Peake won the Photo of the Year category with a stunning shot near Ashby, Minnesota from a fierce tornado at the end of a rainbow.

Meanwhile, New Mexico’s Tim Baca claimed the Photographer of the Year award with a portfolio that the judges said had “ a variety of compositions with subtle montage and great foreground. ”

Mike Olbinski, an Emmy award-winning photographer and filmmaker who created the Storm photos of the year contest, said that despite the challenging conditions of 2020, the entries were still astonishing [with] some absolutely insane recordings, of close-up lightning bolts, stunning compositions and the raw power of tornadoes’. Turn your way down to see the cream of the crop …

This photo, taken by Scott Peake near Ashby, Minnesota, took first place in the Photo of the Year category.  It shows a tornado at the end of a rainbow crossing a long road.  You can distinguish the path of the tornado from right to left as it has pulled crops from the fields

This photo, taken by Scott Peake near Ashby, Minnesota, took first place in the Photo of the Year category. It shows a tornado at the end of a rainbow crossing a long road. You can distinguish the path of the tornado from right to left as it has pulled crops from the fields

Two intense lightning bolts land in the Hudson River with Manhattan in the background.  The standout photo was taken by Gary Hershorn, a Photo of the Year finalist, from the Jersey City coast.  Judges applauded the photographer for his rare shot of 'upward lightning', which can be seen with the brighter right impact emerging from the water

Two intense lightning bolts land in the Hudson River with Manhattan in the background.  The standout photo was taken by Gary Hershorn, a Photo of the Year finalist, from the Jersey City coast.  Judges applauded the photographer for his rare shot of 'upward lightning', which can be seen with the brighter right impact emerging from the water

Two intense lightning bolts land in the Hudson River with Manhattan in the background. The standout photo was taken by Gary Hershorn, a Photo of the Year finalist, from the Jersey City coast. Judges applauded the photographer for his rare shot of ‘upward lightning’, which can be seen with the brighter right impact emerging from the water

Danijel Palčić took third place in the Photo of the Year category with this beautiful photo taken at sunset of a rainstorm with two powerful lightning strikes that hit the coast of Croatia.

Danijel Palčić took third place in the Photo of the Year category with this beautiful photo taken at sunset of a rainstorm with two powerful lightning strikes that hit the coast of Croatia.

Danijel Palčić took third place in the Photo of the Year category with this beautiful photo taken at sunset of a rainstorm with two powerful lightning strikes that hit the coast of Croatia.

George Paraskevaides caught this powerful thunderbolt that hit Nicosia in Cyprus and illuminated the entire city.  The image was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category

George Paraskevaides caught this powerful thunderbolt that hit Nicosia in Cyprus and illuminated the entire city.  The image was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category

George Paraskevaides caught this powerful thunderbolt that hit Nicosia in Cyprus and illuminated the entire city. The image was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category

Julien Stephant took this exciting photo, which was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category, in Genoa, Italy.  It depicts a 'waterspout tornado' moving towards an industrial harbor with lightning bolts adding to the atmospheric scene

Julien Stephant took this exciting photo, which was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category, in Genoa, Italy.  It depicts a 'waterspout tornado' moving towards an industrial harbor with lightning bolts adding to the atmospheric scene

Julien Stephant took this exciting photo, which was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category, in Genoa, Italy. It depicts a ‘waterspout tornado’ moving towards an industrial harbor with lightning bolts adding to the atmospheric scene

Another photo taken by Scott Peake in Minnesota, this time of a powerful 'drill tornado' leaving a cloud of debris in its path while narrowly missing farms to the right.  It was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category

Another photo taken by Scott Peake in Minnesota, this time of a powerful 'drill tornado' leaving a cloud of debris in its path while narrowly missing farms to the right.  It was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category

Another photo taken by Scott Peake in Minnesota, this time of a powerful ‘drill tornado’ leaving a cloud of debris in its path while narrowly missing farms to the right. It was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category

Tim Baca won the Photographer of the Year award for his portfolio which, according to the jury, had 'a variety of compositions with subtle editing and great foreground'.  The ominous image above was taken by Tim in the countryside west of New Cordell in Oklahoma

Tim Baca won the Photographer of the Year award for his portfolio which, according to the jury, had 'a variety of compositions with subtle editing and great foreground'.  The ominous image above was taken by Tim in the countryside west of New Cordell in Oklahoma

Tim Baca won the Photographer of the Year award for his portfolio which, according to the jury, had ‘a variety of compositions with subtle editing and great foreground’. The ominous image above was taken by Tim in the countryside west of New Cordell in Oklahoma

This incredible image captures rapid movement on a highway in Cuervo, New Mexico, with lightning flashes illuminating the sky beyond.  The photo was taken by photographer of the year Tim Baca.  Judges said of his work: 'Storm chasing and in-flight photography can be difficult, but Tim managed to find beautiful locations for some epic storms'

This incredible image captures rapid movement on a highway in Cuervo, New Mexico, with lightning flashes illuminating the sky beyond.  The photo was taken by photographer of the year Tim Baca.  Judges said of his work: 'Storm chasing and in-flight photography can be difficult, but Tim managed to find beautiful locations for some epic storms'

This incredible image captures rapid movement on a highway in Cuervo, New Mexico, with lightning flashes illuminating the sky beyond. The photo was taken by photographer of the year Tim Baca. Judges said of his work: ‘Storm chasing and in-flight photography can be difficult, but Tim managed to find beautiful locations for some epic storms’

A storm is brewing over Sublette, Kansas, with thunderous hues painting the sky and swirling clouds.  The unique formation was captured by photographer of the year Tim Baca

A storm is brewing over Sublette, Kansas, with thunderous hues painting the sky and swirling clouds.  The unique formation was captured by photographer of the year Tim Baca

A storm is brewing over Sublette, Kansas, with thunderous hues painting the sky and swirling clouds. The unique formation was captured by photographer of the year Tim Baca

A rare lightning strike strikes from Seceda Mountain in the Italian Dolomites.  It saw photographer Bernard Geraghty make it as a finalist in the photo of the year category

A rare lightning strike strikes from Seceda Mountain in the Italian Dolomites.  It saw photographer Bernard Geraghty make it as a finalist in the photo of the year category

A rare lightning strike strikes from Seceda Mountain in the Italian Dolomites. It saw photographer Bernard Geraghty make it as a finalist in the photo of the year category

This mesmerizing photo was taken by Michael Morgan outside the rural town of Maleny in Australia.  It took second place in the Photo of the Year category.  It was praised by the jury for being more of an 'art photo' with a 'beautiful composition of a lonely tree, a grazing cow and a distant lightning bolt against a stormy sky'

This mesmerizing photo was taken by Michael Morgan outside the rural town of Maleny in Australia.  It took second place in the Photo of the Year category.  It was praised by the jury for being more of an 'art photo' with a 'beautiful composition of a lonely tree, a grazing cow and a distant lightning bolt against a stormy sky'

This mesmerizing photo was taken by Michael Morgan outside the rural town of Maleny in Australia. It took second place in the Photo of the Year category. It was praised by the jury for being more of an ‘art photo’ with a ‘beautiful composition of a lonely tree, a grazing cow and a distant lightning bolt against a stormy sky’

Melanie Metz captured this rare scene of both a tornado and a rainbow.  She shot the photo in Dalton, Minnesota, and it was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category

Melanie Metz captured this rare scene of both a tornado and a rainbow.  She shot the photo in Dalton, Minnesota, and it was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category

Melanie Metz captured this rare scene of both a tornado and a rainbow. She shot the photo in Dalton, Minnesota, and it was a finalist in the Photo of the Year category

A bolt of lightning strikes the side of a mountain in the French Pyrenees in this powerful landscape created by finalist Maxime Daviron

A bolt of lightning strikes the side of a mountain in the French Pyrenees in this powerful landscape created by finalist Maxime Daviron

A bolt of lightning strikes the side of a mountain in the French Pyrenees in this powerful landscape created by finalist Maxime Daviron

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