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    Tornado watches canceled as strong storms rumble across Massachusetts

    It was not an afternoon for riding a bike, and it wasn't much better for walking outside of TD Garden as heavy rain fell.
    Jim Davis/Globe Staff
    It was not an afternoon for riding a bike, and it wasn't much better for walking outside of TD Garden as heavy rain fell.

    Strong thunderstorms crashed from west to east Tuesday across Massachusetts, arriving in the Boston area in the late afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

    But the state was largely spared of widespread damage and threats of more severe weather. Tornado watches and severe thunderstorm warnings were canceled by early evening.

    By 7:45 p.m., “the severe weather threat” had abated for southern New England, said Nicole Belk, a meteorologist with the service.

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    Moderate rain continued to fall throughout Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island through the evening, with lightning strikes reported on the South Shore, South Coast, and Cape Cod.

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    Belk said there were reports of nickel-sized hail in Western Massachusetts, and one community in Connecticut reported tennis-ball-sized hail that smashed car windshields and house windows.

    Belk said communities throughout Massachusetts, including Boston, Blackstone, Burlington, Framingham, and Wayland, reported street flooding.

    As of 8 p.m., the storm had dropped just shy of an inch of rain in Boston, according to the service.

    And although there were no tornadoes spotted, there were several reports of wind damage in Central and Western Massachusetts.

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    Around 5 p.m. Tuesday, a severe thunderstorm was over Sudbury and moving east at 40 miles per hour, forecasters said. Winds were gusting to 60 miles per hour, and quarter-size hail was possible.

    The forecasters later reported that a strong thunderstorm was over Natick at 5:25 p.m., moving east at 45 miles per hour, with winds blowing at more than 40 miles per hour.

    The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reported 1,607 customers had lost power as of 11 p.m. By the same time utilities in the state were reporting a little over 500 customer outages.

    The evening brought an end to the bad weather, and Wednesday promises to be dry and more comfortable with daytime temperatures in the 50s in Greater Boston, the weather service said earlier Tuesday.

    Thursday will be warmer, with temperatures in the 70s.

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    Precipitation returns Friday night and will probably be present through the weekend, forecasters wrote.

    “Conditions improve by Tuesday of next week,’’ forecasters wrote.

    John R. Ellement, Martin Finucane and Jaclyn Reiss of the Globe Staff and Correspondent Alana Levene contributed. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com