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:
Over the last several days, heavy rain over the Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee Valleys has caused another rise on the lower Ohio and middle Mississippi Rivers. Moderate flooding is now expected on the middle Mississippi River from Cape Girardeau, MO downstream to Thebes, IL. Moderate flooding is also expected on the lower Ohio River from Olmsted, IL to Cairo, IL.
The lower Ohio River will rise 5 to 6 feet over the next several days and Cairo, IL is expected to crest at 48.5ft on March 25th. This crest is 2ft higher than the previous crest and moderate flooding will begin early next week. Flooding will continue on the lower Ohio River through the end of March.
On the Mississippi River below the junction of the Ohio River, minor flooding continues at Caruthersville, MO to Osceola, AR, at Mhoon Landing, MS, and from Natchez, MS to Red River Landing, LA. As routed water from the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Rivers moves downstream, renewed minor to isolated moderate flooding will continue for several more weeks.
The 16 day future rainfall guidance shows similar crest values to the official forecast but it keeps stages elevated and minor flooding would not end on the lower Ohio River until the second week of April. Flooding on the lower Mississippi River would continue through most of April.
The Carrollton Gauge at New Orleans is still predicted to crest at 13.0 feet but the forecasted crest has moved back a few weeks to April 6, 2021.