BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The River Forecast Center's significant crest predictions along the Mississippi River are somewhat rare for mid-January according to experts who study river levels. The Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is monitoring several river levels in parishes along the waterways in question.
The early forecast is calling for crests below those of 2011 where officials took several measures and eventually opened the Morganza Spillway.
"There's a criteria that has to be met besides the height," said Kevin Davis, Director of the GOHSEP. "The volume, the speed of the river and they're not sure that we will reach it at that point."
WAFB-TV meteorologist Steve Caparotta says the river forecasts could still see some fluctuations.
"Most people assume it's the rain that we see down here that the drives the Mississippi river levels, but it's really up across the Ohio Valley and the mid-Mississippi Valley and those areas," he said. "They've gotten dumped on for the last couple days and recent weeks and that's what we're seeing a lot of water coming down."
The forecast for Jan. 19 at 44 feet in Baton Rouge would be the 7th highest on record.