We visited friends in Carmel, California, in November, 2012, and they said they never get thunderstorms there. Why would that be true?
Nick Wilder, Chicago
Carmel, located a little to the south of San Francisco, rarely experiences thunderstorms, but thunderstorms there are not unheard of. In fact, scattered thunderstorms have occurred in the area in the September 8-14, 2020, period. The thunderstorms tend to be high-based, sometimes with bases above 10,000 feet, as opposed to Midwest thunderstorms that ordinarily have bases 1,500 to 5,000 feet. Thunderstorms there in recent days have been the result of tropical storm Karina off the coast of Baja California that has been funneling moisture and advecting instability into northern California.