The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center (LMRFC) released this update (today) to document the low river stage conditions. The LMRFC provided the following text along with the attachment for this update that details low water stage predictions from Cairo (IL) to Baton Rouge (LA).

No big changes from the last update.


The Mississippi and Ohio Valleys continue to have very little rainfall and low water levels are starting to approach last year’s levels.


The lower Ohio River continues to have stage fluctuations due to lock/dam operations.  Cairo, IL was at 5.1ft this morning which is 0.3ft higher than the 4.8ft record level from last year.  The stages are starting to slowly rise again from this morning’s low water levels.


Locations on the lower Mississippi River will be near 2022 levels over the next several weeks.  


The 7 day rainfall forecast shows some rain over parts of the Ohio Valley but the forecast models are not showing appreciable runoff that would help low water conditions on the lower Ohio and lower Mississippi Rivers. 


The 16 day future rainfall model continues to show low water levels.  Cairo, IL will fluctuate near the 5.0ft level through the third week of October.” (Emphasis supplied)


The Carrolton Gage (New Orleans) reading at 1100 hours today was 3.18 feet with a 24-hour change of – 0.05 feet.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Extended Streamflow Prediction (28-Day) for the Carrollton Gage issued today forecasts stages will continue a slow fall to 2.2 feet by September 28 and will then begin a slow rise staying at 2.7 feet or above until October 23 (2023).

Long-range forecasts only include precipitation expected to fall in the next 48-hours.

The highest crest in 2023 recorded on the Carrollton Gage was recorded April 13 at 14.10 feet and the lowest stage of the year was recorded at 1.47 feet on July 5, 2023.