World and Nation

Tornadoes hit Mass.

4060 weather
Situation for 8 a.m. Eastern Time, Friday, June 3, 2011

Those of you staying in the Boston area after Commencement can look forward to a great weekend, with highs around 70°F and lots of sun. The work week might bring some worse weather, with a 30 percent chance of showers on Monday.

Boston sent graduates off with a blast Wednesday evening, when a ferocious lightning storm knocked out power in several MIT buildings and parts of Cambridge. Tragically, the storm system also brought tornadoes to western Massachusetts earlier Wednesday, leaving four dead in Springfield and neighboring towns. At least two tornadoes hit communities along the Mass. Pike, shearing roofs off houses and causing serious damage.

The Massachusetts tornadoes pale in comparison to the devastation left by last week’s twister in Joplin, Missouri. It left 142 dead, making it the single deadliest tornado in United States history. The NOAA has ranked the twister as an F4, which is the second-highest rating on the five-point tornado scale.