A respite from the cold arrived in Massachusetts on Thursday with unseasonably mild temperatures, but forecasters are warning heavy winds expected overnight could lead to power outages in parts of the state.
A high wind warning will be in effect for a stretch of Eastern Massachusetts that includes Boston, the south coast, and Cape Cod. Winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour and gusts of up to 60 miles per hour are expected from 11 p.m. Thursday night to 9 a.m. on Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather service warned that damaging winds will blow down power lines and trees, and widespread power outages are expected.
Communities across Southeastern New England, including Boston, could see gusts up to 60 miles per hour, the weather service said.
The strongest winds will be along the south coast, Cape Cod, and the islands, forecasters said in an online discussion.
In addition to the winds, a period of moderate to heavy rainfall is also expected, forecasters said, but it will end early- to mid-morning on Friday.
The weather service provided a model of what might happen on 6 a.m. Friday morning as rain arrives.
The yellow on the map over Southeastern Massachusetts at about 6 a.m. “could be a narrow band of heavy showers that increases the risk for damaging winds,” the weather service said on Twitter. The winds and rain will affect the morning commute.
Meanwhile, temperatures already broke records on Thursday morning. Worcester set a new record for high temperatures on this day as the mercury hit 58 degrees at 10:47 a.m., surpassing the previous record of 56 degrees set in 1981, the weather service said.
[Record High] already set a new record high today at #Worcester, the temperature hit 58 degs at 1047 am. The previous #record was 56 set back in 1981. We will hold off on sending a record event report until later this afternoon, as temps will continue to rise. #MAwx
— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) February 17, 2022
Elsewhere in the state, high temperatures for Thursday afternoon were in the low 60s across most of Eastern Massachusetts.
Forecasters said that temperatures will reach near-record highs for “many locations away from the south coast.” The highs will approach or break records, which were set for the day in 1981.
The warmest temperatures were likely in the Greater Boston area and Northeastern Massachusetts, where the sun lingers the longest, forecasters said.
Amanda Kaufman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.