Forecasters warn of winds kicking up to 60 miles per hour

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Joe Joyce has the midday WBZ-TV forecast.

Massachusetts residents should beware tonight and Thursday morning of potentially damaging winds that could whip up to 60 miles per hour, the National Weather Service said.

The winds are expected to peak between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m Thursday, forecasters said.

They issued high wind warnings across Southern New England, saying that southwest winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour could gust to 50 to 60 miles per hour.

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The winds could bring down trees, tree limbs, and power lines, causing scattered power outages. The service also advised people to secure loose outdoor objects or they could become damaged or fly around.

Rain could affect this evening’s commute, though the bulk of heavy rain will come — along with possible thunderstorms — just after midnight, the weather service said.

The forecasters issued flood watches for areas in Western Massachusetts, saying that 1 to 2 inches of rain could fall, and that, combined with melting snow and frozen ground, could cause flooding of small streams and poor drainage areas.

The good news is that it has been warm. The temperature at Logan International Airport reached 60 degrees just before 4 p.m., 3 degrees shy of a record. But that high is 55 degrees higher than temperatures were less than a week ago.

Today’s warmth will continue into the evening. Lows will be in the mid-40s to lower 50s. On Thursday the warmth will continue at first (along with spotty showers and fog) reaching the lower 50s in the morning. But the mercury will fall to the upper 30s to mid-40s in the afternoon as a strong cold front pushes across the region.

By Friday, the warmup will be a memory, with temperatures returning to normal February averages in the low to mid-30s. The colder temperatures will last through the weekend, the weather service said.

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