Despite the recent trend toward less rainfall, there is no way to reverse the wave of flooding moving southward through the lower Mississippi Valley, according to

As far as looking for a magic bullet to stop the surge of water flowing slowly downstream in the lower Mississippi Valley, there is none. The damage from 2 feet of rain in recent weeks in the region where the Mississippi and Ohio rivers come together has already been done.

A break of dry weather in recent days and another coming next week will not be enough to stop rising waters along the lower Mississippi River and many of its tributaries.

The practice of opening floodways will take some of the pressure off the levees and will lower the height of the rivers in some cases, but it will not completely stop the slow-moving natural disaster from affecting areas downstream.

Levees or higher ground will allow some communities to be spared the worst of the flooding. However, many levees will be stressed for more than a few days and in some cases could be taxed for up to a few weeks, raising the potential for failure.

Record crests along the Mississippi are possible in portions of southeastern Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana in the days and weeks ahead according to National Weather Service Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center hydrologists.

Rainfall at the start and end of a mini-heat wave set to build during part of next week could slow the fall of the Ohio and Mississippi, as well as rivers feeding into it. However, the impact from that sort of rainfall would not be felt until days later.

While any sudden heavy rainfall in the short term is not likely to immediately impact the major rivers, it would raise the risk of flash and urban flooding in areas not directly impacted by major river flooding.

Near the Mississippi Delta, there is in fact a long-term drought in progress as described by Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski earlier this week.

So while the flash flooding is less of a problem for this area, it is the water approaching from upstream, where the heaviest rains occurred during April and the first part of May that will cause most of the problems.

As a result, the vast inland sea created by the Mississippi River will continue to grow through the middle of May.