A stunning photograph of a Kent beach at sunset is among 22 breathtaking images from around the world to be shortlisted for the Royal Meteorological Society's Weather Photographer of the Year contest.
It was taken in Tankerton near Whitstable by Brendan Conway and shows people walking along a shingle spur at low tide with a backdrop of a spectacular mock mirage sunset over the Thames Estuary.
Brendan says the optical illusion caused buildings in Southend to appear to levitate.
"I hope that when people look at the photo, they not only enjoy the aesthetic dimension but will also be prompted to think a bit more deeply about the incredible processes that brought it about," he added.
During a mock mirage sunset, the sun is distorted and appears to be sliced horizontally.
It can occur when there are one or more shallow layers in the atmosphere with a temperature difference between each layer, known as temperature inversions.
The sunlight is refracted more as it travels through colder layers than warmer ones, distorting how an object appears to a viewer.
The photograph also captures an inferior mirage, where the distant buildings in Southend appear to be elevated above their normal position. An inferior mirage is also an optical phenomenon due to a temperature inversion.
Photographers from almost 120 countries entered the contest, capturing the vast types of spectacular weather worldwide.
They include a stormy sky over the wheat fields of Kansas, a lightning strike over Barcelona, a flooded street in Ethiopia, a city skyscape in Myanmar, waves smashing against a lighthouse in West Sussex and another lightning strike, this time in Chongqing in China.
Contest judge and retired AccuWeather chief meteorologist Elliot Abrams says the competition always attracts the very best and most creative amateur weather photographers, and this year is no exception.
"Together, the entrants illustrated their keen eye and passion for weather and provided us with a greater window into this most fascinating, stirring and ever-changing phenomenon," he said.
To see the shortlisted images and vote for your favourite, visit rmets.org/wpotyvote.
The winner, who will be announced on October 6, will receive £500 and a Canon printer.
A calendar featuring all the winners and finalists will go on sale via the RMetS online shop later this year.