Forest Fire Boundary © Tran Tuan

Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year 2024: Last chance

by Kirsty McCabe, FRMetS


Now in its ninth year, the Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year competition showcases the world’s most striking weather and climate photographs. It also raises awareness of the environmental issues facing our planet, the fragile and beautiful world we need to protect.

Every day, media headlines tell of extreme weather events around the globe, such as intense heatwaves, droughts, floods and wildfires. For the first time, our photography competition has a new prize for 2024 — the Standard Chartered Climate Award. We want to see images that tell important stories about the impacts of climate change on the world's weather patterns.

Here are some previous entries to our competition that illustrate our changing climate.



A heatwave is a prolonged period of excessively hot weather which has different definitions around the world relative to the average temperature and weather for a specific location.


UK summer heatwave © Nicola Moses
UK summer heatwave © Nicola Moses


This picture was taken in Burgess Park, south London, during summer 2022. The luscious green grass had turned to a straw yellow colour in the relentless heat. For the first time ever, the UK recorded a maximum temperature of over 40 ºC, with 40.3 ºC recorded at Coningsby in Lincolnshire on 19th July 2022.

Blaming a single heatwave event on global warming is complicated. However, it is possible to say that such extreme events are likely to happen more often, are hotter and are lasting longer due to human-induced climate change.



Extreme heat has also led to an increase in droughts, with a recent study confirming that droughts across the world are developing more rapidly as a result of climate change. These "flash droughts" — which intensify in a matter of weeks — have become more frequent since the late 1950s over 74% of the world’s 33 global regions, especially those over North and East Asia, the Sahara and Europe.


In Search of Water © Barun Rajgaria
In Search of Water © Barun Rajgaria


As captured above, periods of extreme heat in India can cause rivers and ponds to completely dry up, leaving humans and animals struggling to find water. Climate change affects rainfall patterns, with increased rainfall in high latitudes and a decrease over large parts of the subtropics, making extreme high-temperature events more frequent, persistent and intense.



Although there are natural causes of wildfires, such as lightning strikes, most of them are started by people and when it is very hot and dry, the fires can grow rapidly out of control. Such blazes destroy habitats and farmland alike, as well as create hazardous air pollution.


Forest Fire Boundary © Tran Tuan
Forest Fire Boundary © Tran Tuan


This scorching snap from Vietnam’s Bac Giang province captures the devastation that forest fires cause to the natural world. Climate change is likely to exacerbate wildfires across the globe, by creating hotter and drier ‘tinderbox’ conditions, leading to longer wildfire seasons, with fires that burn longer and spread further.



The number of people at risk from flooding in parts of the UK could double as early as the 2050s, with an expected increase in the frequency and severity of floods.


York Flooding © Andrew McCaren
York Flooding © Andrew McCaren


This photo shows the effect of flooding from the River Ouse in York. According to the 2021 Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report, approximately 1.9 million people across the UK currently live in areas at significant risk from either river, coastal or surface water flooding.



Storms often hit the British Isles during the autumn and winter months, but the 2023-2024 storm season was particularly active.


Storm Eunice © Christopher Ison
Storm Eunice © Christopher Ison 


These deep areas of low pressure have often undergone explosive cyclogenesis — and are often referred to as "weather bombs" by the media. Climate change studies indicate that such storms will become more intense and more frequent in future. 


Last chance to enter Weather Photographer of the Year 2024

Have you captured a winning weather or climate photograph? 

The ninth Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year competition closes on 18th June 2024. The competition is open to photographers from around the world, of all age and abilities, and is FREE to enter.  


Categories: Climate In the Spotlight Weather
Tags: Climate Change Extreme Weather Heatwaves Observations Precipitation Storms Temperature Tropical Cyclones Weather WorldWeather WPotY

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