We present the application of the weighted horizontal gradient of magnetic field (WGM) flare prediction method to 3D extrapolated magnetic configurations of flaring solar ARs. The main aim is to identify an optimal height range, if any, in the interface region between the photosphere and lower corona, where the flare onset time prediction capability of WGM is best exploited. The optimal height is where flare prediction, by means of the WGM method, is achieved earlier than at the photospheric level. 3D magnetic structures, based on potential and non-linear force-free field extrapolations, are constructed to study a vertical range from the photosphere up to the low corona with a 45 km step size. We found that applying the WGM method between 1000 and 1800 km above the solar surface would improve the prediction of the flare onset time by around 2-8 hrs. Certain caveats and an outlook for future work along these lines are also discussed.