>>>can high mountains create this turbulence?
As the others have mentioned, absolutely yes....
Keeping in mind that air behaves as a fluid, it might help you to visualize (or look at outright) a small stream or brook in your area. After flowing over some rocks or other items raised above the stream bed, you can easily see various disturbances in the water down stream of where the rocks/items are. The air flowing over the mountains can create some similar effects on the lee side of(i.e., downstream from) the mountains.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.