Storms roll into Boston area

A line of severe thunderstorms that pummeled New York Saturday rolled into Massachusetts in the evening, with high winds bringing down trees and power lines in the western part of the state.

The system, which had earlier spawned two tornadoes that caused power outages and mild property damage in New York City, prompted the National Weather Service to issue a severe thunderstorm watch for the entire state until 11 p.m. Tornado watches were briefly issued for Berkshire, Hampden, and Hampshire counties.

Showers arrived in the Boston area around 8:30 p.m., with the main squall line passing through Boston from 9:45 to 10 p.m., said Benjamin Sipprell, a metorologist for the National Weather Service.

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Rain could linger into the first half of Sunday as the storms move offshore in the eastern part of the state, particularly on Cape Cod and the islands.

Winds from the storm gusted as high as 60 miles per hour in the western part of the state, said Stephanie Dunten, another weather service metorologist. The gusts were as high as 50 miles an hour in Boston.

Utility companies reported little fallout from the storm. As of 10:30 p.m., a National Grid spokeswoman said there were about 237 outages around the state, and the company’s website said power would be restored to all customers Sunday. An NStar spokesman said there only “minor” outages.

According to the Associated Press, the weather service confirmed reports that a tornado touched down near the Breezy Point section of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens on Saturday. That twister reportedly flung sand and debris into the air and moved industrial-sized metal trash bins.

A few minutes later another tornado hit the Canarsie section in Brooklyn. No injuries were immediately reported in either case.

The storm system was intensified as warm, muggy air in Western Massachusetts met the cold front moving toward the region from Western New York, the weather service said.

The two clashing systems produced shear, or rapid changes in wind speed over short distances, a key ingredient for severe weather such as thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Some of the areas that were under tornado watches Saturday included communities that were devastated by tornadoes in June 2011.

Last year’s twisters swept through Central and Western Massachusetts, killing four people and destroying dozens of homes. One of them was the worst to hit New England in 60 years.

The weather service also warned beachgoers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to be wary of high surf, as offshore systems unrelated to Saturday’s thunderstorms could cause waves up to 7 feet high and strong rip currents into the coming week.

In Swampscott, the Coast Guard was searching for 23-year-old kayaker Mayran Lisoboich, who reported missing at about 7 p.m. Saturday. About two hours later, his kayak was found on a beach near Fisherman’s Beach.

For the coming week, the weather should improve considerably.

The storms that prompted warnings Saturday will clear out by Sunday afternoon, giving way to mostly sunny skies that are expected to persist through Friday, with highs in the upper 70s through Wednesday and in the upper 80s Thursday and Friday.