Temperatures were only in the 40s or lower across much of the Northeast on Wednesday as a late nor'easter spread rain and gusty wind through the region, continuing a gloomy spring just days before the traditional opening of summer.

The National Weather Service (search) said the storm system would bring wind of up to 60 mph to the coast of New England, along with 1 to 2 inches of rain and a potential for coastal flooding at high tide. Minor beach erosion was possible as far south as North Carolina, the weather service said.

Temperatures fell to 42 degrees Wednesday morning at Boston and 48 at New York City, the National Weather Service said. In northern Maine, Caribou chilled to just 35, in sharp contrast with the low of 53 at International Falls, Minn.

This has been the third coldest May on record in New England, National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Nocera said. The normal average for May in Boston is 58.5 degrees but this month's average has been 51.4, he said.

About 4,000 Massachusetts residents were without power early Wednesday, mostly on the state's North Shore, and there were reports of street flooding in coastal areas usually affected by storms, said Peter Judge of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (search).

"We haven't had any calls on giant issues," Judge said early Wednesday from the agency's emergency operations center in Framingham. "But it's a little early and we've got to go through a couple more high tides before this thing goes away."