The heavy rains and flooding expected to hit the Tampa Bay area Wednesday haven't been as bad as forecasters feared, making things easier on Thanksgiving travelers.
A flood watch was in effect was for much of Tampa Bay, according to the National Weather Service, but meteorologists were wondering whether to lift the watch by the Wednesday afternoon.
Rain inch totals won't be tallied until Thursday morning, forecaster Todd Barron said, but he believed Pinellas County received about an inch to and inch-and-a-half of rain. As far south as Sarasota, it was more like four to five inches. Patches of rain will continue into the evening before a cold front moves in, dropping temperatures considerably by Thanksgiving morning.
Most of the lingering rain has been south of Interstate 4, including St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, Tampa and as far south as Fort Myers. The highways north of that looked mostly clear and dry Wednesday afternoon, Barron said.
"If you're traveling north out of Tampa, it shouldn't be a problem," Barron said.
Expect windy, cold conditions to continue through Friday, said Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker said. Thursdays highs will be around 70 for most of the area, and Friday will dip down to highs in the mid-60s and lows in the high 40s.