Severe Thunderstorms Cross New England, Bringing Tornado Warnings and Damage

Severe thunderstorm warning alerts lit up peoples' phones in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island

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A powerful storm system moved across New England Friday evening, causing tornado warnings in southern Vermont and New Hampshire near the Massachusetts border.

Thousands were without power as the storm moved out to sea around 10 p.m. A large swath of New England -- eventually including Boston -- was under a tornado watch. Severe thunderstorm warning alerts lit up peoples' phones in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Vermont had two tornado warnings, first about 6:15 p.m. for conditions near Greenwich, then about 7:10 for a cell near Brattleboro. The danger reached Jaffrey, New Hampshire, about 35 minutes later, prompting a tornado warning there.

There were no immediate reports of a tornado touching down, but it can take hours or even days for that to be confirmed.

Friday night: Storms move out. Lows in the 50s. Saturday and Sunday: Variable clouds. Highs in the 60s.

Reports were coming in from across the area of torrential rain and strong wind, and more than 28,700 customers were still without power in Massachusetts as of about 10:45 p.m. New Hampshire still had about 3,000 people without power and Vermont had nearly 3,800.

Summer warmth expanded over much of New England Friday, with temperatures into the 70s over the Champlain Valley and a few towns getting closer to 80 degrees in the Merrimack Valley while it was still in the 50s and 60s in Maine and northern New Hampshire.

That's a front with an area of low pressure riding along, so as it headed east it triggered the chance for strong to severe thunderstorms in the late afternoon and this evening.

The sunshine we have seen added fuel to the fire, which ignited scattered storms between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The main threat was for damaging wind gusts, but these storms also produced lightning and downpours. An isolated tornado couldn't be ruled out.

We should see the squall line weaken as it moves southeast and we lose daytime heating, with downpours along the South Coast closer to midnight.

Behind the rain we have a nice weekend with increasing sunshine for tomorrow with highs in the 70s away from the coast, closer to 60 degrees at the beach with a light onshore breeze.

It will be fair and dry tomorrow night with low temperatures in the 40s and 50s.

High pressure to our east and low pressure to our west will generate more of a significant wind from the east and southeast Sunday, with a little bit cooler weather and increasing clouds. But the day should be mostly dry with high in the 60s, again cooler at the beach.

Rain develops Sunday night and could become heavy at times Monday. We have issued a First Alert on Monday for the possibility of some localized flooding if the rain potential exceeds 2 inches.

We're also watching the possibility of an early-season tropical or subtropical storm, which could be named "Arthur" off the Florida Coast. That storm may try and move north but it looks to stay away from New England though it may still increase wave heights and wind along the coast.

It now looks like that storm may drift back toward the south Tuesday and Wednesday with improving weather and a warming trend as seen in our First Alert 10-day forecast.

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