The area shaded in orange, which includes most of Pinellas County, is where the National Weather Service predicts the heaviest rain will fall over the next couple of days.
A stalled frontal boundary and tropical moisture are behind the heavy rain falling across most of Tampa Bay today. The National Weather Center forecast calls for the risk of heavy rain, increasing rip currents and hazardous boating conditions through Wednesday.
A flood watch is in effect through 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Rainfall of up to two inches is expected today with higher amounts in some locations. NWS advises that some locations have already received up to about four inches of rain already. Additional rainfall of as much as two to four inches is forecast through Wednesday. The NWS warns that minor flooding in low-lying areas is possible, along with ponding of water on roadways. Local law enforcement is advising motorists to slow down and use caution on area roadways.
Southwest winds associated with a low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico is working to build seas over Gulf waters, increasing the risk of rip currents through Wednesday. NWS advises residents and guests to use extreme caution when visiting area beaches, to swim only at beaches with lifeguards, and to heed their warnings. At beaches without lifeguards and in areas with piers, jetties and inlets, beachgoers are advised to not venture out in water deeper than their knees.
A rip current is a 10 to 30 yard wide channel of water that can pull even strong swimmers into deeper water. Never fight the current of a rip current, instead float along until you’re free of the current and then swim to shore.
High winds and seas are creating hazardous condition for small craft, which will likely continue through Wednesday. Conditions are expected to improve by the end of the week and into the weekend.