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Thunderstorms bring down trees, wires in Mass.

Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/file

Thunderstorms moved quickly through Massachusetts Tuesday night, bringing down trees and wires and sparking fires, according to the National Weather Service.

Norfolk County saw the most lightning and wind damage, according to Matthew Belk, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norton.

In Worcester County, a two-and-a-half-story home on School Street in Webster caught on fire after it was struck by lightning around 5 p.m. About an hour earlier in Essex County, a house fire on Lake Shore Drive in Methuen was also sparked by lightning , according to the NWS storm report.

At 6:42 p.m., lightning melted a hole through the asphalt in Hatfield in Western Massachusetts. That was the second reported lightning strike in the town. In the afternoon, lightning hit a utility pole and knocked out power on Main and Maple streets, the NWS storm report said.


There were 989 customers without power in Massachusetts as of 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning, with the most in Norfolk and Suffolk counties, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s online outage map. By 7 a.m., there were less than 200 customers without power.

The storms are expected to bring a brief break from the heat.

For example, Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., near the Massachusetts border, was at 91 degrees before the storms rolled in on Tuesday, and with the thunderstorms forming, the temperature dropped to 75 degrees, Durham said.

At 1 p.m., temperatures across eastern Massachusetts ranged from 92 to 94 degrees, Durham said, with cooler temperatures on Cape Cod and the islands. A heat advisory remains in effect for eastern Massachusetts until 8 p.m.

But the respite from the heat will be only temporary, and once the storm moves out of the region, temperatures will climb again, Durham said.


Slightly cooler temperatures are expected in Massachusetts Wednesday, with high 80s to low 90s in the forecast. Scattered thunderstorms are also possible.

Massachusetts won’t see a lasting break from the hot and muggy conditions until Thursday, when cooler and drier air is expected.

Amanda Kaufman can be reached at amanda.kaufman@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandakauf1.