Was it a tornado? The short answer is no, or at least not yet.
The Doppler in Doppler radar stands for the Doppler effect. The radar is able to determine if the returned echo -- from the rain or hail -- are moving towards or away from the radar. This effect would make it possible to determine if there is rotation in a thunderstorm, an indication of a storm that could produce a tornado.
Rotation detected by radar along with a few other factors could result in a tornado warning issued by the local National Weather Service office. There were no tornado warnings issued today, just a number of severe thunderstorm warnings. Those warnings are issued if a storm looks capable of producing hail 3/4 of an inch and or wind gusts over 57 m.p.h.
If a tornado warning was issued or an actual tornado was detected by a trained spotter, then the National Weather Service would send out a team to investigate the damage and determine if there was a tornado at all, and if so what class of tornado it was -- depending on the damage.
Even though there appeared to be no tornadoes today, damage reports are still coming in. There was still a good deal of thunderstorm wind damage. A non-tornadic storm could still produce winds greater than 70 m.p.h., as was the case Wednesday.
In Monroe County, there was a tornado that caused a good bit of damage. The cell phone video's posted exclusively on the Morning Call's Web site.
Dave Warren is a meterologist for NBC Philadelphia.