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Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson

Editorial

Andrea Thompson is a Senior Science Writer at Climate Central, focusing on extreme weather and climate change. Previously, Andrea was a writer and reporter for Live Science and Space.com, reporting on climate change, weather and other science-related topics. She graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in 2004 and a Master's in the same subject in 2006. She attended the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University and graduated with a Master of Arts in 2006.

Most Recent News Entries:

Antarctic Sea Ice Hits New Max; Continent Still Warming

Antarctic Sea Ice Hits New Max; Continent Still Warming

The donut of sea ice encircling Antarctica is hovering around its yearly winter maximum area, and there’s little question that it’s going to set a record high this year. “Antarctic sea ice in 2014 is going to set a record for sure,” said Ted Scambos, a senior scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. This end-of-sea… Read More

Climate Fueled Some of 2013’s Most Extreme Events

Climate Fueled Some of 2013’s Most Extreme Events

Heat waves can clearly be linked to climate change, a new report finds, while rain events are murkier.… Read More

Picture This: Fogbows and Fall Begins

Picture This: Fogbows and Fall Begins

This week, the sun set on summer and rose on the vivid colors of fall, slowly spreading across the northern parts of the country. Pictures of the scarlet and amber leaves at national parks and wildlife areas were among the stunning shots from the past week. A sunrise seen from a perch in space and a strange-looking phenomenon called a fogbow also… Read More

Peak of Tornado Season Shifting Earlier in Tornado Alley

Peak of Tornado Season Shifting Earlier in Tornado Alley

Living in Missouri as a kid, John Long grew up with tornadoes. He went through the same tornado drills that all school children from tornado-prone parts of the country know well: Filing into school hallways and crouching against walls with a textbook or hands covering the head. Tornadoes were a part of life. But growing up, Long said, he and… Read More

Picture This: Hurricanes and Wildfires from Space

Picture This: Hurricanes and Wildfires from Space

Winds and fire wrought havoc this week as wildfires exploded in Northern California and Hurricane Odile became the most powerful storm to strike Baja California. The devastation of both events was caught in poignant and impactful photos. But other images captured more peaceful tableaus, including the beauty of landscapes erupting in a riot of… Read More

2014 on Track to be Hottest Year on Record

2014 on Track to be Hottest Year on Record

Just days after NASA data showed that August 2014 was the warmest August on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed the ranking and raised the ante: There’s a good chance 2014 could become the warmest year on record. “If we continue a consistent departure from average for the rest of 2014, we will edge out 2010 as… Read More

Arctic Sea Ice to Reach Sixth Lowest Extent on Record

Arctic Sea Ice to Reach Sixth Lowest Extent on Record

As summer draws to a close, the Arctic sea ice melt season is coming to an end. And while the season didn’t top 2012’s astounding record melt, it has still resulted in what will likely be the sixth lowest September minimum ice extent on record. The extent of the ice on Sept. 15 was 1.96 million square miles, according to the National Snow and Ice D… Read More

NASA Ranks This August as Warmest on Record

NASA Ranks This August as Warmest on Record

While this summer may have felt like fall across much of the eastern half of the U.S., worldwide the overall picture was a warm one. This August was the warmest August on record globally, according to newly released NASA temperature data, while the summer tied for the fourth warmest. Central Europe, northern Africa, parts of South America, and… Read More

Picture This: Summer Snow and Gnarly Lightning

Picture This: Summer Snow and Gnarly Lightning

It was a weird week for weather, that's for sure. Snows fell from Calgary to Rapid City -- in the middle of September. That's early even for Canada! Meanwhile monsoon rains, helped along my moisture from the remnants of tropical storms, soaked parts of the Southwest, not used to such deluges. We've got photos of those two events, as well as look ba… Read More

Warming Air Was Trigger for Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse

Warming Air Was Trigger for Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse

It was clear to anyone who went to Antarctica in the summer of 2001-02 that it was an unusually warm one — record-setting, in fact — and just one in a series of warm austral summers. In December 2001, geologic oceanographer Eugene Domack, now at the University of South Florida, was part of an expedition sampling the Southern Ocean seafloor around… Read More

Struggling El Niño Still Shaping Hurricane Activity

Struggling El Niño Still Shaping Hurricane Activity

September 10 generally marks the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean basin, but this year there are no tropical cyclones to be seen. Currently, there are only two stormy areas that have only small chances of developing into tropical storms over the next few days. For that dearth of activity, you can thank El Niño, or at least the… Read More

Picture This: Rainbows, Rainbows & More Rainbows

Picture This: Rainbows, Rainbows & More Rainbows

We can’t seem to go a week without a storm producing one amazing photo of a rainbow or another, be they of the single, double or triple variety. This week was no exception, as you will see below, with three stunning shots. Of course, plenty of other weather phenomena produced wow-worthy pictures of their own. There’s always something amazing to see… Read More

Drought Divide: Tropical Rains to Help Plains, Not SoCal

Drought Divide: Tropical Rains to Help Plains, Not SoCal

The remnants of two tropical systems — one from the Gulf of Mexico, the other just west of Baja California — are expected to serve as wells of moisture fueling rains this weekend over portions of the country’s two main drought hotspots, namely parts of the Southern Plains and Southern California. But while those rains could make dents in the Plains… Read More

El Nino Watch: 6 Months and Still Counting

El Nino Watch: 6 Months and Still Counting

For months now, the tropical Pacific Ocean has been flirting with blossoming into a full-fledged El Niño state: Waters off the coast of South America have warmed, a hallmark of the climate phenomenon, but then cooled, only to warm once again. Winds, which normally blow east-to-west have made tentative moves in the other direction, another key… Read More

For Air Pollution, Trash Is a Burning Problem

For Air Pollution, Trash Is a Burning Problem

When atmospheric scientist Christine Wiedinmyer first went to Ghana in 2011 to investigate air pollution produced by burning different materials — from crop stubble to coal used in stoves — she noticed an unexpected potential source: burning piles of trash. Like most residents of developed nations who hadn’t traveled broadly in the developing… Read More

Picture This: Awesome Auroras and Triple Rainbows

Picture This: Awesome Auroras and Triple Rainbows

The skies were awash in color this week, it seems, with auroras dancing across the night skies in the north, a bright triple rainbow appearing in Alaska and the sunset-hued glow of rain over one of the nation's natural jewels, Yosemite National Park. We've rounded up these riotous displays here, along with a few more of our favorite weather and… Read More

What Global Warming Might Mean for Extreme Snowfalls

What Global Warming Might Mean for Extreme Snowfalls

So if the world is warming, that means winters should be less snowy, right? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. OK, it’s a lot more complicated. While the average annual snowfall in most parts of the world is indeed expected to decline, the extreme snowfalls — those that hit a place once every 10 or 20 years and can cause major headaches… Read More

Picture This: Pileus Cloud and Lots and Lots of Rain

Picture This: Pileus Cloud and Lots and Lots of Rain

Boy, did it rain a lot this week. Torrential rains fell from Seattle to Long Island, flooding not only highways, houses and parking lots, but also Twitter with images of cars covered nearly up to their roofs and stranded drivers. But there were plenty of other memorable weather pictures this week, and we’ve got some of the best for you here… Read More

Humans to Blame for Much of Recent Glacier Melt

Humans to Blame for Much of Recent Glacier Melt

From Alaska to the Alps, photos of today’s diminished glaciers contrasted with grainy black-and-white images of their former, more massive states are some of the most widely used examples of the impact of human-caused climate change, with their melt threatening water supplies, enhancing sea level rise, and posing threats like floods from bursting… Read More

How Did the Brooklyn Dust Devil Form?

How Did the Brooklyn Dust Devil Form?

Some denizens of Brooklyn who were out enjoying a warm, sunny summer day in a park in the Williamsburg neighborhood on Sunday got quite a surprise when a dust devil spun across a baseball diamond as park goers lounged on beach towels nearby. Dust devils — small, rotating columns of air that we can see because of the dust and debris they pick up… Read More

Picture This: Fire Clouds & A Slew of Pacific Storms

Picture This: Fire Clouds & A Slew of Pacific Storms

The weather has provided extreme bookends to the week, with a 1-in-500 year rainfall event washing out Mt. Baldy, Calif., in the middle of what is supposed to be the dry season, while a hurricane bore down on Hawaii for the first time in 22 years. The thunderstorms that unleashed the rains on California also produced lots of lightning that sparked… Read More

Why Hurricanes Are So Rare in Hawaii

Why Hurricanes Are So Rare in Hawaii

The last time a hurricane was bearing down on the Hawaiian Islands, Steven Spielberg was on Kauaʻi finishing filming of the now iconic movie “Jurassic Park” when Hurricane Iniki hit the island as a Category 4 storm. Now — 22 years later — not one, but an unprecedented two hurricanes are making a beeline for the island chain and residents are… Read More

Forecasters Lower Hurricane Season Expectations

Forecasters Lower Hurricane Season Expectations

Hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean basin is likely to be even more lackluster for the remainder of the season than forecasters originally thought when it began on June 1. Forces like cool ocean waters and a stable atmospheric environment are keeping storms from forming and growing, and the El Nino that is faltering but still expected to… Read More

Odds of El Niño Drop; Still Expected to Form

Odds of El Niño Drop; Still Expected to Form

The El Niño that seems to be trying to form in the tropical Pacific Ocean is looking a little less likely now, though the chances of it developing are still double the normal odds, forecasters said in the latest monthly update on the cyclical climate phenomenon, released Thursday. That update lowered the odds of an El Niño occurring in fall and… Read More

Putting a Climate Context on SoCal’s Flash Floods

Putting a Climate Context on SoCal’s Flash Floods

A confluence of extreme atmospheric conditions over Southern California, possibly with an assist from the intense drought in the state, set the stage for the torrential rains and flash flooding that washed away cars and homes in some areas like Mt. Baldy on Sunday. And while the U.S. Southwest is expected to increasingly dry out in a warming… Read More