Lowerings and Base Altitudes

Jason Toft

Hello everyone,

I'm curious to know approximately how high the standard wall cloud usually forms at. On some of the pics I've seen, it looks like no more than several hundred feet! Has anyone ever measured it?


It depends on the amount of moisture / convergence / etc. If you have a very high storm base, the wall cloud would be very high. Very low on a very humid day and the wall cloud can form just off the surface...
There also seems to be more of a tendency - probably partially due to the atmospherics that Rob mentions and partially due to changes in land elevation - that storms on the western plains or high plains often have wall clouds that appear really low (looking like they are barely sitting off the ground), and as you get to the lower elevations further east wall clouds often look higher. Tornadoes can come from both, but it really looks mean when wall clouds are low against the horizon.