Tornado Hidden behind Trees

Wall Cloud with Tornado Hidden behind Trees

This is a fine example of how obstructions to visibility can make it very difficult to ascertain the presence of a tornado. At the moment of this photograph, taken in Arlington TN on 5 February 2008, a rapidly rotating wall cloud was obvious, but the trees blocked a good view of the tornado that was causing damage beneath. When confronted with such a situation, the spotter should report the rapid rotation, and look for other clues (such as power flashes, or a better view through any gaps that may exist) to determine better if a tornado still is underway. The event was part of the "Super Tuesday" outbreak, which was the deadliest outbreak of tornadoes to strike the U.S. since 1985.