Warnings issued as thunderstorms sweep across Mass.

Cautioning residents about the possibility of high winds and large hail, forecasters issued severe thunderstorm warnings this afternoon for various areas of Massachusetts as powerful storms swept east across the state.

The sky a few minutes before the storm reached the Globe offices (Martin Finucane/Globe Staff)

Weather service radar late this afternoon showed a string of storms rolling towards the Boston area from Western Massachusetts. Forecasters also issued marine warnings as the storms moved into coastal waters.

The forecasters issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk counties at 5:39 p.m.

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Shortly before 6 p.m. at the Globe offices in Dorchester, the skies opened up with torrential rain, pea-sized hail and lightning streaking across the horizon.

“Keep an eye on the sky,” said weather service meteorologist Bill Simpson.

The weather service fielded reports of penny-sized hail from Leominster. A 62-mile-per-hour gust was reported in Portsmouth, N.H. The service fielded reports of several trees down earlier this afternoon in towns in Central and Western Massachusetts.

The severe storms should mostly subside when the atmosphere cools after the sun goes down. There will be a lingering possibility for thunderstorms overnight.

It’ll be cooler Tuesday, with highs in the upper 70s, reducing potential storms’ potency. However, there’ll still be instability, bringing another shot at showers and thunderstorms. Simpson said this system will bring more intermittent rain, rather than a steady downpour like recent storms.

Tuesday’s showers will likely be more widespread than those today, Simpson said.

The week should close out nicely, with mostly sunny skies and highs in the mid-70s Wednesday, and conditions only improving through Thursday and Friday, with mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 70s.