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A stormy afternoon and evening are possible for parts of New England

A person used an umbrella to protect themself from precipitation at the Public Garden in Boston last week. Stormy weather with heavy downpours is possible this afternoon.
A person used an umbrella to protect themself from precipitation at the Public Garden in Boston last week. Stormy weather with heavy downpours is possible this afternoon.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/file

By mid-morning, temperatures were already in the 60s across much of the area, as a significant flow of mild air carried on a southerly wind crosses through the region. A quick shot of the satellite loop shows clear skies over eastern New England, but thicker clouds looming to the west. Since the upper flow is parallel to the clouds, they will take much of the day to move east.

Thick clouds are headed east ahead of Wednesday afternoon.
Thick clouds are headed east ahead of Wednesday afternoon.COD Weather

Forecasters have increased the risk for strong thunderstorms across western New England this afternoon, and some of those may hold together as they move into Greater Boston before sunset.

Strong storms are possible later Wednesday, especially over western New England.
Strong storms are possible later Wednesday, especially over western New England.NOAA

The most likely impact from these storms would be some heavier downpours and strong, gusty winds. I don’t think they’re going to be widespread to the extent that we’re all going to see them, but some of us will. On average, there will be about a tenth of an inch of rainfall; a few of you will completely miss the showers and others will see much higher amounts in those storms.

The second image I want to focus on is the freeze warnings, which are posted for a huge area of the middle of the country, all the way into southwest Connecticut. I mentioned at the beginning of the week that in order to see frost or freeze warnings, an area must be past its average date of the final freeze of the spring. This is the case for much of the United States — the areas in blue below — and the reason why folks in those areas are going to be covering up plants tonight or tomorrow night.

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Areas in dark blue are under a freeze warning for a cold snap that could damage tender plants.
Areas in dark blue are under a freeze warning for a cold snap that could damage tender plants.NOAA

That air mass will continue to push east and provide us with a very chilly day tomorrow. Look for highs to remain in the 40s with a cold wind. Since it will be so cold relative to the time of year, temperatures will not have that far to fall tomorrow night in order to get close to freezing. It’s not record-breaking cold we’re going to be looking at, but it is getting outside the norm, especially after how mild it has been. For those away from the coast, if you have tender plants outside, it’s not a bad idea to cover them up tomorrow before you retire for the night.

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High temperatures Thursday will stay in the 40s.
High temperatures Thursday will stay in the 40s.NOAA

Things look dry and increasingly mild for Friday and Saturday. If you have outdoor plans this weekend, you definitely want to try to get them done early, because we are expecting rain for Sunday. That’s when a coastal low-pressure area is going to bring a wet nor’easter with gusty winds and chilly temperatures. It looks like at least half an inch of rain, and I would consider it a washout kind of a day. It’s back to the dry stuff early next week, along with seasonable temperatures.

Follow Dave Epstein @growingwisdom.