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The Boston Globe

Metro

Strong storms moving into Boston area tonight

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather alert, warning that severe thunderstorms could rock the greater Boston area this afternoon as the region transitions from a heat wave into a cooler period where temperatures cap out in the 80s.

Boston has a 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms this evening, with precipitation most likely after 5 p.m., according to the weather service.

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A flash flood warning that was initially issued for just Western Massachusetts earlier today, has now been expanded to include central Massachusetts and communities west and north of Boston, the weather service said.

“Showers and thunderstorms will develop today. They will have the potential to produce heavy downpours,” the weather service wrote on its website. “Local rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches are possible.’’

Humidity levels will remain high this week, although a strong sea breeze is likely to develop today around noon, which could penetrate inland and cool things off in the east. Tonight will cool into the 70s, and see patchy fog throughout the state.

“The humid air mass is going to remain with us right into Thursday,” said meteorologist Charlie Foley. “Each afternoon this week has the potential for additional showers and thunderstorms.”

Showers will wind down this evening, leaving the whole state slightly cooler but still humid, the weather service said.

Dew points in the high 60s and low 70s will continue tonight and for the rest of the week, with the cold front in the north unlikely to assert itself over the state.

A mixture of sun and clouds is likely Tuesday, with showers and thunderstorms likely in the afternoon, the weather service said.

Temperatures will drop into the lower 80s on Tuesday, and should remain in the mid-to lower 80s throughout the week. Statewide showers and thunderstorms are likely until the weekend, although today has the highest chance of precipitation in the east.

Jasper can be reached at jasper.craven@globe.com or on Twitter @Jasper_Craven

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