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Heavy rain and winds in Massachusetts to affect morning commute

Parts of the state had not yet fully recovered from heavy snow that downed trees and caused ongoing power outages.

A pedestrian used an umbrella to protect herself from the rain Thursday in Boston.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

The second winter storm to strike southern New England this week brought a mix of rain and snow to parts of Massachusetts on Wednesday before changing to heavy rain and gusty winds, according to forecasters.

Light snow and flurries brought additional snow to communities in north Central Massachusetts, but most of the state saw the flakes turn to liquid fairly quickly.

The heaviest rain was expected to fall in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where a flood warning was in effect Wednesday night with the possibility of 2 to 3 inches, forecasters said.

At least 2 inches of rain was also predicted for Central Massachusetts and up to an inch and a half in the Boston area, which was under a flood watch through Thursday morning.

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The rain, which was expected to continue overnight, could present some issues for commuters heading into work Thursday morning.

“Some areas could have standing water, and the risk of hydroplaning is there,” said Andrew Loconto, a meteorologist with the weather service in Norton. “It could cause some street flooding where water doesn’t drain very well.”

Gusty winds accompanied the rain showers, blowing at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour around Boston and up to 50 miles per hour along the south coast and on Cape Cod and the islands, according to the National Weather Service in Norton. Those gusts were expected to continue overnight, forecaster said.

Parts of the state, particularly north Central Massachusetts, had not yet fully recovered from heavy snow that downed trees and caused ongoing power outages, before light snow started falling Wednesday afternoon, forecasters said.

There were 1,707 customers who remained without power by late Wednesday from Monday’s storm, according to an online outage map from the state’s emergency management agency. The outages were concentrated in the northern part of the state.

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Some areas northwest of Interstate 95 saw a “brief burst of heavier snow” during the storm, according to the National Weather Service in Norton.

The bulk of the snow gradually arrived from southwest to northeast between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., forecasters said.

Areas north of the Massachusetts Turnpike and closer to the Vermont border, were expected to get higher amounts of snow, forecasters said. The town of Leyden in Franklin County had reported the most snow accumulation with about 2.5 inches as of 6 p.m., according to the weather service.

The Boston area saw a brief period of flurries before turning to rain Wednesday.

The storm is expected to depart the region on Thursday morning. The rest of Thursday is expected to be dry and breezy, although the highest terrain of western Franklin and Hampshire County could see an additional inch or so of snow during the night, forecasters said.

Friday will be seasonably chilly, forecasters said.


Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.