Weather officials early Friday afternoon issued a severe thunderstorm watch for most of Massachusetts, warning that a line of powerful storms bearing sheets of rain and heavy winds would steadily creep eastward across the state throughout the latter half of the day.
The National Weather Service said the rain and wind presented the likeliest threats from the storm, though isolated patches of hail were possible. A tornado, though not likely, could not be ruled out.
Wind gusts could at times reach 65 miles per hour in scattered locations, the weather agency also said. More than an inch of rain in some areas was possible, which could produce localized flooding in urban areas or streets with poor drainage.
National Weather Service meteorologists said the storms would move west to east, arriving first to Western Massachusetts between noon 3 p.m., to Worcester between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., and to the East Coast by 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The storms are expected to depart the state after roughly 10 p.m. While severe storms could break out across the entire region, the central and western parts of Massachusetts are at the greatest risk for stronger weather.
The severe thunderstorm watch extends until 8 p.m. Friday night. In addition to most of Massachusetts, it covered all of Connecticut and Rhode Island, parts of eastern New York, and parts of southern Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
“Those with outdoor plans this afternoon and evening should keep an eye to the sky,” the National Weather Service said. “Be prepared to seek an indoor shelter if threatening weather approaches.”