LOCK HAVEN - Though many pictures of what appears to be a large funnel cloud near the Dairy Queen in Lamar are appearing over the Internet, weather officials said they don't believe a tornado touched down during Tuesday's storm.
"I would say it's inconclusive," meteorologist Paul Jung of the National Weather Service office in State College said after The Express provided pictures on Wednesday.
He noted a "very similar" formation came close to the weather service office on Tuesday, with low clouds and broad rotation, but the pictures provided are "inconclusive."
This photo of what looks like a tornado, was taken by a reader from Route 64 at Lamar.
Jung said the clouds are probably "scud clouds," which are lower clouds under the main storm.
"At first, they look like a huge tornado, but we don't have any kinds of reports supporting damage from something that massive," he said.
Jung noted strong downbursts from storms can approach 70 to 80 mph and cause more damage than tornadoes, though no official speeds were noted from the storm.
The strong winds are blamed for toppling a large wireless Internet transmitter on the roof of KCnet's downtown building on Tuesday, though it did not affect many customers.
"Fortunately, the tower that was damaged really did not serve a lot of our downtown customers," said Operations Director Todd Snyder. "As a result, we were quickly able to change the network around to accomodate traffic reroting. Everybody was back up in a matter of mere minutes.
The company has since pulled the tower down to protect against further damage and officials will evaluate the need to reassemble it.
"We have multiple wireless radio networks in place to transfer one to the other. We just moved it to another radio," he said. "Fortunately for us, the network is designed to accomodate emergencies, but that's one storm we hope not to see again."
The transmitter was engineered and weighed to specs to withstand sustained winds of over 80 mph. Further, Snyder said, KCnet added 350 pounds to it.
"I have never seen one of those go like that," he said. "The wind just literally picked it up on its side... and dumped it. Thankfully, it did not cause any additional structural damage to the roof."