The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced the winners of its inaugural “Weather in Focus” photo contest. Here’s a sampling of the best the year had to offer.

Top image: A tornado churns up dust in sunset light near Traer, IA by Brad Goddard. This image won second place in the Professional Submissions category.

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The NOAA photo contest features four different categories: (1) Professional Submissions, (2) Weather, Water and Climate, (3) Science in Action, and in the (4) iMoment (i.e. pics captured with handheld devices). Here are the respective winners of each, followed by some of our favorite submissions.

Stars Behind the Storm by Brad Goddard, Orion, IL

First place, Professional Submissions

Snow Express by Conrad Stenftenagel, Saint Anthony, IN

First place, Weather, Water & Climate

Green Bank Telescope in WV by Mike Zorger, Falls Church, VA

First pace, Science in Action

Smoky Mountains by Elijah Burris, Canton, NC

First place, iMoment

Proton Arc Over Lake Superior by Ken William, Clio, MI

Second place, Weather, Water & Climate

With a Bang by Bob Larson, Prescott, AZ

Third place, Weather, Water & Climate

Fire in the Sky Pver Glacier National Park by Sashikanth

Honorable mention, Weather, Water & Climate

Spring Captured by Mike Shelby

Second place, iMoment

Rolling Clouds in Lake Tahoe by Christopher Le Boa

Third place, iMoment

More photo contest winners here.


Contact the author at george@io9.com and @dvorsky. All images and captions via NOAA.