Rain dissolves snow; temps to rise, sun to return on Friday

Cambridge, MA 110812 Rumiko Nomura (cq), a student at the Kennedy School of Government, photographed geese for her Facebook page while walking along the Charles River in Cambridge, Thursday, November 8 2012, (Staff Photo/Wendy Maeda) section: slug: 09standalone reporter: In-Cap
Rumiko Nomura, a student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, photographed geese for her Facebook page while walking along the Charles River in Cambridge today.Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Much of the heavy, wet snow that a nor’easter dumped onto Massachusetts Wednesday night has been washed away, but there are still some light flakes falling in the central part of the state, according to the National Weather Service.

NStar was working this afternoon to restore power to about 5,700 customers after trees and power lines were brought down by the storm’s high winds, mostly along the shore.

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Meanwhile, the forecast calls for the state to emerge from the November gloom into a string of nicer days ahead, with temperatures climbing towards 70 on Monday.

The storm dumped a whopping 9.3 inches of snow on Southbridge, while Monson got 7.5 inches. Spencer and Worcester got about 6.5 inches, the weather service said.

Worcester broke its previous snowfall record for Nov. 7. The old record was 1.4 inches, which was set in 1953, weather service meteorologist Charlie Foley said.

Providence got 1.3 inches of snow, breaking the old record for the day set in 2010 when the city received a trace amount of snow. Hartford got 1.6 inches, breaking the old record set in 1953 of 0.2 inches.

About 4 inches of snow were dumped on the summit of the Blue Hills, smashing the previous record set in 1967 of 1 inch, according to the Blue Hills Observatory.

Snowfall amounts in the metropolitan area were higher than expected, Foley said.

“Some of the amounts did surprise us somewhat,” he said. “We thought there would be just enough to cover the roads, but we got a little bit more than that, but it’s not going to stick around.”

There was little time to enjoy the season’s first snowfall, as most of it was washed away this afternoon.

“It has pretty much all turned to rain so that’s going to wash away, even on the grass, any whiteness,” he said.

Temperatures in Boston had climbed to 39 by midafternoon. Light flurries continued to drift onto Worcester, which had a temperature of 36.

Worcester “had everything,” Foley said. “They had sleet, went to rain, went back to snow.” The flakes falling right now may last into the evening commute but won’t amount to much more accumulation, he said.

“This is just nuisance stuff,” he said. “You might see some grassy areas inland still white, but it’ll all be gone over the weekend.”

High winds also rattled the state Wednesday night. A buoy in Buzzards Bay recorded a peak wind gust of 76 miles per hour, Foley said. East Falmouth saw gusts up to 71 miles per hour.

Peak wind gusts in the Cape and Islands were about 60 miles per hour, according to the weather service. East Boston recorded a gust of 49 miles per hour.

“The winds are still very brisk,” he said. “They’re still gusting at 25 to 35 in some places. That’ll slowly relax, although down on the Cape they’re a little bit stronger.”

Winds along the Cape are gusting near 50 miles per hour.

“It’s still blowing pretty good down there,” he said.

Friday will bring sunny skies and temperatures near 50 in the city, which is a bit cooler than the normal temperature for this time of year, he said.

“Saturday will be just slightly below normal and then Sunday we start to climb,” Foley said. Temperatures Monday will approach a pleasant 70.

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