The dry weather hovering over the Mississippi Valley to start the week is helping, but a lot more help is needed into the summer from Mother Nature.
The concern for a dose of heavy rain late this week continues as a storm now impacting the West migrates slowly eastward.
The latest indications are that this rain may aim over portions of Arkansas and Missouri over the weekend.
The Mississippi River at Memphis is likely to remain above flood stage until early June, even without significant rainfall.
Many locations along the lower Mississippi River are in the same boat, no pun intended.
However, since the rounds of moisture-rich storms are likely to continue to feed in from the West for the next several weeks, the potential for pockets of heavy rain will continue.
While this rainfall is not likely to lead to new record levels of flooding, it will tend to prolong the above-normal water levels and could keep flood waters lingering in some locations well into the summer.
The Mississippi River drains most of the middle of the U.S. and includes major rivers such as the Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas, Des Moines and the Red River of the South.
These tributaries are likely to be hit with episodes of heavy rain amounting to up to several inches in some cases.
In turn, the runoff from the events, although not as concentrated nor as intense as that of late April, will be enough to bring periodic rises on these tributaries.
The flow downstream could then slow or stall recession, or perhaps even lead to modest secondary rises on the Mississippi.
One thing that will tend to work in favor of those hoping to get back into their homes and begin the cleanup process is higher evaporation rates during the summer.
Strong sunshine, long days and higher temperatures will pull moisture out of the ground leaving less water available to run off into streams and rivers.
We have to get the rain to shut off for a long enough period to get all or most of the tributary rivers back down.
Just as this begins to happen, along comes another rain event it seems.
As a result, the normally slow recession of the Mississippi could be agonizingly slow in some areas.