What is the maximum height recorded for thunderstorms?
The height of a thunderstorm is limited by the tropopause, a stable layer of atmosphere that inhibits upward vertical motion and subsequently, further thunderstorm growth. This is why thunderstorm clouds develop flat tops, or anvil-like structure. In the warm season in mid latitudes, this level averages about 45,000 feet. Intense thunderstorms have updrafts strong enough to punch through the tropopause, and the tops of such storms can grow to 65,000 feet. The world’s tallest thunderstorms, over the western equatorial Pacific where the tropopause tends to be highest, have been measured at nearly 14 miles high with tops to 75,000 feet.