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Wind, rain lash region, but conditions forecast to improve over weekend

Thursday brought rain and thunder to the region, with some high winds in the mix.

Groton-New London Airport saw a peak wind gust of 55 miles per hour on Thursday, with multiple gusts over 40 miles per hour, according to Western Connecticut State University meteorologist Gary Lessor. He said this is tropical storm strength winds, whereas hurricane-strength winds are about 74 miles per hour.

The region saw 0.63 inch of rain through 4 p.m.; Lessor said the record for rainfall in the area on April 9 was 1.11 inches in 1998.

In Mystic on Thursday, Matt Hart and Lucy Yu ventured out to Sift Bake Shop under a shared umbrella. "We are glad they are open," Yu said of the cafe.

The rain was not enough to stop Mark Harris of Groton from going out for a jog. He said he wanted to get his exercise in before the storm got any worse and was going to only run a little over 3 miles rather than his usual 4. He said he tries to run every day before work and it's especially important now to keep the body moving and with respect to 6-foot social distancing necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lessor said the weather will be drying out and winds will diminish. The region could have wind gusts between 35 and 45 miles per hour on Friday but he was not anticipating thunderstorms. He said forecasts show Saturday and Sunday will be partly sunny and in the 50s.

Day Staff Photographers Sean D. Elliot and Dana Jensen contributed to this report.

e.moser@theday.com

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