Patriots fans, keep an eye to the sky! Heat spell expected to end with powerful storms

New England Patriots fans gathering in Foxborough tonight for the home opener might want to pack that poncho.

The recent warm weather will end in a round of nasty storms early this evening, the National Weather Service said.

“There is going to be a risk of showers and possible thunderstorms around kickoff,” said Kim Buttrick, weather service meteorologist. “But the chance of heavier rain will be after the game.”

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Temperatures rose into the mid-80s today in Boston, and the humidity made it feel hotter. Storms began sweeping through Western and Central Massachusetts this afternoon, according to weather service radar. Precipitation was expected to roll east toward Boston after 4 p.m. and continue overnight as a cold front approaches.

The forecasters issued a severe thunderstorm watch, effective until 10 p.m., for much of the state.

Things could be worse in Northern New England, where there’s a chance of a tornado, the forecasters said.

Showers and thunderstorms will continue Friday morning, but should diminish by 9 a.m. Humidity will drop significantly through the day, and temperatures will hover in the mid-70s, according to the Weather Service. Skies will be cloudy most of the day, and fog will blanket much of the state in the morning. Temperatures will drop into the low 50s overnight.

The weekend is on track to be a gem. Saturday and Sunday will be mostly sunny, with temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s and low humidity. Fall will return with a vengeance as temperatures plummet into the 30s overnight Saturday in Western Massachusetts, according to the weather service.

Sunshine is likely through at least Wednesday, with fall-like temperatures in the upper 60s.

“There will be a slight risk of rain on Monday, and then dry weather will commence for the rest of the week,” Buttrick said.