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Severe Weather, Tornado Threat Possible Thursday Evening

By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer
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BOSTON (CBS) - How quickly things can change here in New England.

After a Wednesday that many were calling a perfect 10, we are now monitoring the skies for a potential severe weather outbreak later today.

Check: Current Conditions | Weather Maps | Interactive Radar

As usual, the forecast is not cut and dry for this afternoon and evening and there are several factors which will either contribute to or work against a significant severe weather outbreak here.

There is certainly plenty of potential in the atmosphere today.

The Storms Prediction Center has put much of southwestern New England in a moderate risk category for severe weather.

This is not something we typically see here in New England, that designation is most commonly seen in the Midwest and parts of Tornado Alley.

As of 6pm, a nasty line of severe thunderstorms is moving through Southern New York State and Pennsylvania. There are several tornado warnings and many sightings as well along that line. Of course the question remains, will this area of severe weather make the trip to New England?

Read: What To Do In A Tornado

At this point it appears that the best chance of severe weather and perhaps an isolated tornado still lies in extreme Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. This is where the best atmospheric dynamics exist and where the sun has been heating the ground for most of the day. Cloud cover has been fairly persistent in most of Central and Eastern Massachusetts today, limiting the amount of volatility in the atmosphere and thus lowering our severe weather potential for tonight.

The time frame for the rest of the night looks like this: Showers and thunderstorms move into Western MA and CT between 6 and 8pm and into Central and Eastern Massachusetts between 8pm and Midnight. The biggest threat in our area, Worcester County and eastward, would be very heavy downpours, localized flash flooding and some lightning as well.

Please stay tuned to updated weather forecasts as this remains a potentially dangerous weather situation.

We will, of course, monitor the situation all day and provide updates via Twitter, Facebook, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and WBZ-TV as things develop and change.

You can follow Terry on Twitter at @TerryWBZ.

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