Surf's Up by Emma Rose Karsten

Young Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 Runner Up

Photographer name: Emma Rose Karsten

From: Wildwood, Missouri

Age: 18 (17 when photo submitted)

Photo title: Surf's Up

Photo location: Lafayette High School in Wildwood Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis)

Story behind the photo: This photo was taken from the parking lot of Emma’s high school - Lafayette High School in Wildwood, St Louis, Missouri. She was meeting a friend to talk from their cars whilst COVID restrictions were in place and she describes this “huge, awesome cloud” rolling in. She initially thought it was a huge wall of water and was glad she was able to capture it as it was a challenge to get the perspective of how huge the cloud was in relation to her school. 

Weather caption: For a thunderstorm to form, three key ingredients are required: moisture, instability and a lifting mechanism. These often occur during the summer months in St Louis (US) when warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico spreads north to dominate the area. On average, St Louis experiences between 40 to 50 thunderstorms each year, a few of which produce large hail and damaging winds, classing them as severe.