Flash Flood Watch Issued for Parts of Massachusetts

There's also a non-zero risk of tornadoes in parts of the Bay State on Thursday, which has seen below-average rainfall so far this June.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA - February 5, 2016: The iconic Citgo sign along Commonwealth Avenue on a rainy night in the Fenway Kenmore neighborhood

Photo via iStock/DenisTangneyJr

Today is a good day to take the advice Rihanna issued back in 2007: Stand under an umbrella.

Or, better yet, just get inside.

A flash flood watch is in effect for portions of western, central, and northeastern Massachusetts, including Worcester and Middlesex counties, until Thursday evening. Rain could pummel the area at a rate of 2 inches per hour, according to the National Weather Service, leaving open the chance for floods. Greater Boston is expected to see between 2 inches and 3 inches of rain by the end of the day, with heavy showers and thunderstorms potentially rolling into the area. Some storms, the National Weather Service said in a statement, may bring “frequent lightning, [which] will always pose a threat to life.”

Central and western Massachusetts, meanwhile, could see severe, isolated thunderstorms accompanied by damaging winds and a “very low risk of a brief tornado,” on Thursday, according to the meteorologists.

But there’s a silver lining to this cloud. Though the rain may ruin your plans for a parade, the region could actually use some precipitation. Forecasters at the National Weather Service said we’ve seen less rain than usual this June, and some areas are 2 inches below their average totals. This system, however, could upend that calculus.

“This rain is certainly beneficial and it’ll help,” the meteorologists wrote on Twitter. “Expecting upwards of 2 inches today, some places may see their abnormally dry conditions for June erased.”

Though a flash flood watch represents a less severe threat than a warning, there is still a chance that dangerous conditions could arise during Thursday’s storms. The National Weather Service recommends seeking higher ground and avoiding flood waters to the greatest extent possible.

On Friday, the rain will be replaced by heat and humidity. Forecasters said on Twitter that we could see a few consecutive days of temperatures topping 90 degrees, with heat indices climbing to 100 degrees. There’s a chance the high temperatures will linger through next week, bringing the threat of heat-related illnesses along with them.