A forecast update provided by our colleagues from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center is here. Highlights from today’s update specific to the New Orleans area are reproduced below:
The lower Ohio River has crested and will fall slowly over the next couple of days. The lower Mississippi River is cresting at Caruthersville, MO today and downstream locations should crest over the next 7 to 10 days. Minor to isolated moderate flooding continues on the lower Ohio River and isolated minor flooding is either occurring or forecast to occur on the lower Mississippi River.
At the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, Cairo, IL has crested and will continue to fall slowly over the next several days. The lower Ohio River will continue to be above flood stage over the next 5 to 6 days.
On the lower Mississippi River, minor flooding is occurring from Tiptonville, TN to Osceola, AR and minor flooding is also occurring at Mhoon Landing, MS and Red River Landing, LA. Minor flooding is expected at Natchez, MS by late next week.
Cresting conditions are still expected at New Orleans, LA for March 21st.
The 16 day future rainfall guidance continues to show another 3 to 5 inches of rainfall over the lower Missouri, middle, Mississippi, and lower Ohio Valleys. The guidance is still showing a secondary rise on the lower Ohio for late March and the crest heights would be several feet lower than the current crest. This secondary rise would also prolong flooding for a couple of more weeks.
The Carrollton Gauge at New Orleans is predicted to crest at 13.0 feet on March 21, 2021, an extended high river stage below the level of this crest is being included in most forecasts (slower fall based upon future storms).