High winds, heavy rains batter Bay State

Heavy rains, winds gusting more than 60 miles per hour, and a tornado watch combined for fierce weather across the Bay State Tuesday that was expected to continue into Wednesday, a spokesman for the National Weather Service said.

In addition, a thunderstorm watch was in effect for all counties in Massachusetts until 3 Wednesday morning, said Bill Simpson of the Weather Service.

Showers had moved into the western two thirds of Southern New England with temperatures in the upper 60s and 70s across the region Tuesday night, he said. One of the hardest hit areas for rainfall was Berkshire County, where about two inches fell by Tuesday night, according to Simpson.

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He said the rain was moving fairly quickly and no river flooding was expected.

National Grid reported power outages across the state, with 4,300 customers without power as of late Tuesday night, according to the utility’s website.

High winds tore through much of the state Tuesday, reaching as high as 64 miles per hour in West Cummington, Simpson said. He said the fierce winds led to many trees and branches down across the state.

At 10 p.m., wind gusts in Copley Square howled so ferociously that pedestrians could barely walk. At least one tree along Boylston Street had been snapped in two, left to dangle over a parking space.

Early Tuesday afternoon, winds were whipping across the Blue Hills at up to 42 miles per hour, while in Boston they gusted up to 37 miles per hour, said meteorologist Alan Dunham of the National Weather Service.

A tornado watch and high wind warning that had been issued earlier in the day for Berkshire County was canceled Tuesday evening by the National Weather Service.

The service expected most rain to fall, including heavy downpours, during the overnight hours and into midmorning on Wednesday.

The state is a half-inch above the average rainfall for September, but “just a hair under five inches’’ below the average rain amount for the year, Dunham said.

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The low yearly rain total is because January, February, and March were extremely dry, he also said.

“It’s been fairly dry for the last week,’’ Dunham said. “We won’t catch up for the yearly total with just this.’’

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