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As ‘polar vortex’ loses grip, heavy rain expected this weekend

A man walked down on Newbury Street on a bitterly cold Tuesday.

Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

A man walked down on Newbury Street on a bitterly cold Tuesday.

Hold on, the warmth is coming.

The polar vortex is finally losing its grip on the region, with forecasters expecting the unseasonably cold arctic air to leave by the end of the week, bringing milder temperatures and heavy rain this weekend.

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“We’ll see a noticeable moderation in temperature by Saturday, but today we’re starting that trend,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Charlie Foley.

Today started out sunny but chilly, with temperatures in the single digits and only expected to reach the low 20s by this afternoon. It could still feel warmer today than Tuesday, as wind gusts will stay below 15 miles per hour.

Milder conditions will move into the region Thursday morning, with highs reaching the low 30s. Clouds will move in overnight as temperatures drop to the low 20s.

Friday will be even warmer with highs in the upper 30s and a slight chance of rain before noon.

Temperatures will drop into the upper 20s that evening, bringing a slight possibility of freezing rain before daybreak. It would be very light, but could result in hazardous travel, forecasters said.

This weekend will be much warmer and wetter, with temperatures Saturday reaching the low 50s and heavy showers bringing between an inch to an inch and a half of rain that evening.

“It’s going to be a good, soaking rain, but not very friendly to the people that are out at the Patriots game,” Foley said.

Rain will peter out by Sunday morning, with skies staying partly sunny and highs in the low 50s, and overnight temperatures in the mid-30s.

“This week we’re going from several days of below-normal temperatures to several days of above-normal temperatures, but next week doesn’t look too extreme one way or another,” Foley said.

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.
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