A severe thunderstorm on the Mexican side of the Texas Big Bend grew to an estimated height of 68,000 feet on Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in San Antonio, Texas. This is about twice the height of the typical cruising altitude of a large commercial jetliner, which is generally above 30,000 feet. For reference, the maximum cruising altitude of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft is 41,000 feet, according to airliners.net.

The tops of this storm also reached a height of more than twice that of the summit of Mount Everest (29,029 feet). According to weather.com meteorologist Tom Moore, who has been watching storms on satellite more than 30 years, “The supercell towered as high as I’ve seen in years.” READ MORE