CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The 22News Storm Team has issued a rare Severe Weather Alert for potentially severe storms late Friday afternoon and especially into the night.

A Severe Weather Alert is the top tier of our two-tier Weather Alert System. We try and reserve using this type of alert for only the most impactful of weather.

Much of the day will be dry, warm and bright with high temperatures heading close to 80 degrees. Much of the day you’ll be able to get outside and enjoy the warmth, but be ready for storms late in the day.

A Tornado Watch has been issued for ALL of western Massachusetts through 10PM.

A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. A tornado warning means a tornado has been detected on radar or spotted.

The Storm Prediction Center has most of western Massachusetts in an “Enhanced Risk” of severe weather, which means numerous severe storms are possible. The main takeaway from this is that the farther north and west you are, the higher your risk for severe weather is. That being said, we are all at some risk for severe storms.

NOW-7PM: Isolated strong/severe thunderstorms are possible with many areas staying mostly dry during this period. While these storms may be isolated, singular storms have the greatest potential to rotate and drop hail and potentially an isolated tornado. At this point, anybody could get one of these isolated storms, but the highest risk is north of the Mass Pike. 

7PM-11PM: The main round of storms comes in a more widespread line. This line has the greatest potential to bring wind damage to more areas and street flooding due to very heavy rain.

After 11PM: The severe weather threat drops, but we’ll still have some lingering showers into the first few hours of Saturday morning.

Weather Alerts

Our main concern is for damaging winds with hail also possible. There’s also a low risk for an isolated tornado.

Aside from the severe weather risk, we also have the potential for street flooding given the very heavy rain we’re expecting. Never drive through a flooded street. Lightning may be frequent with some of the storms today and tonight, so if you can hear thunder…head indoors.

Stay with the 22News Storm Team as we continue to track the severe weather threat.

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