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Northeast looks forward to relative warming trend

Temperatures to rise from dangerous to merely freezing

Firefighters in Bangor, Maine, fight a stubborn blaze in a historic building surrounded by snow and ice Friday.
Firefighters in Bangor, Maine, fight a stubborn blaze in a historic building surrounded by snow and ice Friday.

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Subzero temperatures put New England in a deep freeze.
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(CNN) -- New England residents braced for another frigid night Friday, this time with hope that an expected warming trend will bring temperatures above zero by Saturday afternoon.

Two weather systems from Canada moved eastward late Friday, taking with them the arctic air they had brought to New England, the National Weather Service reported. The historically cold weather is being pushed out to sea, bringing some relief to the region.

Overnight in Boston the temperature may dip to 5 degrees, with wind chills expected to be 20 degrees below zero. By mid-afternoon, however, the temperature should reach 30, according to the weather service.

The warming trend should be felt throughout New England, raising temperatures from dangerously cold to merely normal winter weather.

Farther south, New York will thaw to above freezing, with an expected high of 35 degrees.

Sarah deDoes, innkeeper of The Chadwick in Portland, Maine, is looking forward to the "warm spell" that should bring temperatures close to freezing.

"It is going to feel warm tomorrow," she said. "It's all a matter of relativity."

DeDoes said she plans to take a walk, which she hasn't been able to do for several days because of the wind.

Despite the bitter weather, New England survived without the power grid being crippled, which officials had feared.

A spokeswoman for ISO New England Inc., the company responsible for maintaining the region's power grid, said it would launch rolling blackouts only "under extreme circumstances" but had asked its 6.5 million customers tied to the grid to "use power wisely."

Late Friday spokeswoman Erin O'Brien said the grid was holding. As is typical in such circumstances, power was being imported from New York and Canada, she said.

The cold froze water pipes and prompted officials to close schools across the six-state region.

The bitter cold was responsible for at least one death -- a hiker on a winter backpacking trip whose body was recovered late Thursday from New Hampshire's White Mountains.

New Hampshire's medical examiner said "hypothermia due to environmental exposure" killed Kenneth Holmes, 47, an experienced backcountry hiker who left Monday on a trip he expected to finish Wednesday.

The state's Fish and Game Department, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Army National Guard launched a search when the mountain club reported Holmes overdue.

The helicopter search team found his body, which had signs of advanced stages of hypothermia, a Fish and Game official said.

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