Saturday, 2:15 PM
Thunderstorms roll into eastern Massachusetts
By Anne Baker, Globe Correspondent
The National Weather Service has been issuing warnings this afternoon as thunderstorms have marched eastward across the state.
The service is warning residents of northen Essex County, including the city of Newburyport, of a severe thunderstorm bearing down on the area capable of producing winds of up to 60 mph. And it's warning residents of central Middlesex County of a storm that could produce winds of up to 40 mph that is moving east from Upton into Boston's western suburbs.
The rainy Thursday will top off a particularly wet July. The thunderstorms could hit anywhere in the state as a “very unstable” humid air mass clashes with the sun, said Charlie Foley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton.
“Not all thunderstorm events produce hail and not all thunderstorms produce damaging winds," Foley said. “But the expectations are the conditions are ripe this afternoon for hail and damaging winds.”
Massachusetts has already received almost 6 inches of rain this month, which is roughly double the 30-year average for the state, Foley said. Massachusetts received 5 inches of rain in July 2007. Foley described the rainfall spike the last two years as a “blip” and said it does not necessarily indicate a long-term trend. The July record for Boston is 11.69 inches of rain in 1921.
If there are rumbling storms this afternoon in Boston, it will mark the 10th day this month with a thunderstorm, which is two-and-a-half times the July average. There have already been 21 thunderstorm days this year, which is already well above the city’s typical 12-month total of about 17, according to the National Weather Service.
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