BAMOS - Vol 35 No.1 Autumn 2022 Autumn 2022 - Page 15

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BAMOS Autumn 2022
15
Spectacular images from Weather Photographer of the Year
' Weather : a force of nature ' features 192 pages of dramatic weather photographs from around the world , chosen from the Royal Meteorological Society ’ s annual photographic competition . Each image has been selected by a panel of meteorologists , photographers and photo editors who look for a combination of skillful camera work and meteorological observation .
The book also includes six essays addressing various aspects of climate change , not least its impact on extreme weather . Excerpt below .
Whirling devil Hadi Dehghanpour
This photograph captures the moment a powerful dust devil hits a group of tents in a village near Noush Abad in Iran . Dust devils are relatively small , short-lived whirlwinds occurring during sunny conditions when the air in contact with the ground is heated strongly . This heating creates shallow convection currents that tend to organize into small regions , or cells , of ascending and descending air near ground level . Areas of weak rotation , associated with local variations in the wind speed and direction , can be strongly focussed and amplified as air converges in towards the areas of ascending air . This process occasionally results in the development of a well-defined column of strongly rotating air , and a dust devil is born . Although most dust devils are harmless , they occasionally grow large and strong enough to constitute a hazard to outdoor activities , as in this example . Dust devils resemble tornadoes , in so much as they are a strongly rotating column of air . However , they are almost always weaker than tornadoes and tend to be much shallower . Crucially , whilst the rotation in dust devils generally only extends a few tens of metres to perhaps 100 – 200 m ( 328 – 656 ft ) above ground level , tornadoes are connected to the base of a convective cloud aloft .
Canon 5D Mark III + Canon 75 – 300 mm : 1 / 400 s ; f / 11 ; 120 mm ; ISO-100 .
WEATHER : A FORCE OF NATURE 33
Beating in vain Tohid Mahdizadeh
Bush and forest fires , such as this heathland fire in northwest Iran , can be a major hazard in arid and semi-arid regions of the world . Fires may start as a result of human activity , or due to natural processes such as lightning strikes , the latter being especially likely where storms are high-based and relatively little precipitation reaches the ground . The likelihood and severity of wildfires is strongly influenced by the weather conditions . In particular , high surface temperatures and low humidities dry out vegetation and increase the likelihood of ignition , whilst strong winds act to fan the flames , aiding the spread of existing fires .
' Weather : a force of nature '
Foreword by Prof David Griggs , President of Royal Met Society and Monash University .
Contributions from Prof Richard P Allan , Dr Mika Rantanen , Prof Lesley Hughes , Dr Michalea King , Dr Katherine Hutchinson and Prof Jim Watson .
Publication date : 15 October 2021 . More info : https :// www . publish . csiro . au / book / 8056
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