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Forecasters warn of possible severe thunderstorms in much of Mass.

The National Weather Service is warning of the possibility of severe thunderstorms Thursday afternoon and evening in Western, Central, and Northeastern Massachusetts, as well as Southern New Hampshire.

Severe thunderstorm watches are in effect in the areas until 10 p.m.

In Massachusetts, the watches are in effect for Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, and Essex counties. Cities affected could include Fitchburg, Framingham, Gloucester, Greenfield, Lawrence, Lowell, Northampton, Springfield, and Worcester, forecasters said.

Boston and areas to the south and east are not expected to get severe storms.

Scattered damaging wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour, isolated large hail up to an inch in diameter, and tornados are possible, the weather service’s Storm Prediction Center warned.

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“The potential will exist for isolated severe storms through early/mid-evening as ongoing late-afternoon activity across far eastern New York/Vermont spreads eastward,” forecasters said.

“Persons in these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings. Severe thunderstorms can and occasionally do produce tornadoes,” forecasters said.



Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.