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When flying above the haze layer you can see distant buildups for literally hundreds of miles if they are high enough.  This picture was also taken at 6,500' just skimming the top of the haze layer in Georgia.  The buildups popping up in the distance were just beginning to build and were about 40 miles away.  Note the smaller buildups below the haze layer in the foreground -- they were just a few miles away.  My destination was about 30 nm beyond and to the left of the buildups in the distance.  The Atlanta area forecast called for numerous afternoon thunderstorms and the noonday sun was just starting to do its thing.  A few hours later, this whole area was littered with level 5 cells (and I was safely back home with the plane in the hangar thank you).

Flying above the haze layer makes it easier to decide which way to deviate to avoid buildups in the distance.  The clear view above the haze layer also makes it easier to spot traffic, and there is far less traffic at these altitudes.  I have sometimes flown between Atlanta and Miami without seeing a single aircraft near my cruising altitude.