Greensboro, NC -- During WFMY News 2's weekday 5:30 2 Wants To Know Newscast Meteorologist Grant Gilmore answers your questions about the weather. On Monday Grant answered Linda Franks Lowe's facebook question. Linda asked, "Do the clouds have to be low for a tornado to form? In some storms the clouds are higher than others."
The simple answer to this question is no. The height of the clouds are somewhat independent from the rotation associated with the developing tornado. That being said, if the clouds are lower to the ground the funnel (the developing tornado) has a smaller distance to travel before reaching the ground. If the cloud base is higher then the vortex of the developing tornado must remain intact for a greater distance before reaching the ground and ultimately causing damage.