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Tornado watch issued for parts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire

Next Weather: WBZ evening forecast for June 23
Next Weather: WBZ evening forecast for June 23 04:01

WORCESTER - The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for parts of Massachusetts north and west of Boston as well as New Hampshire through 8 p.m. on Sunday.

The tornado watch in New England includes all of New Hampshire and Vermont, plus southern Maine. In Massachusetts, the watch includes Worcester, Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire counties. 

WBZ-TV weather graphic CBS Boston

The National Weather Service said the watch area covers more than 8 million people. "A few tornadoes" are likely, along with the possibility of pingpong ball-sized hail and wind gusts of up to 70 mph.

Severe weather forecast in New England

Strong to severe storms are expected in central and northern New England between noon and 5 p.m., In southern New England, the timeline is between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The Storms Prediction Center issued an unusually high tornado risk assessment for the region on Sunday.

WBZ-TV graphic CBS Boston

The center said there was a 10% risk for a tornado for much of New Hampshire, central and western Massachusetts. The Boston area into Metrowest Massachusetts and Norfolk County were given a 5% chance of a tornado.

What is a tornado watch vs. a tornado warning?

According to the National Weather Service, a tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to form. A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted on radar or observed on the ground. 

WBZ-TV graphic CBS Boston

"A watch is when you start to have a plan in place," WBZ-TV meteorologist Jacob Wycoff explains. "A tornado warning is when you need to take action immediately." 

Click here for information about what to do during a tornado warning.

Massachusetts Weather Radar

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