The warm weather has finally arrived after a long snowy winter and the province’s prognosticators are keeping a close eye on river conditions now that the spring melt is underway.

The River Forecasting Centre is monitoring river conditions in the province in an effort to help protect communities from possible flooding this spring.

Experts examine several factors to predict potential flooding including rainfall, snowpack, soil moisture and temperatures and say the main driver of flooding in southern Alberta is rainfall.

A spring melt advisory was expanded on Monday to include the plains area from Peace River and Fort McMurray to just south of the City of Calgary as well as Cypress Hills.

Alberta Environment officials say the warm temperatures could cause the rapid melt of an above average snowpack resulting in some localized overland flooding in low-lying areas.

Water levels will likely rise in smaller creeks, but forecasters say levels in major waterways will not see a significant increase.

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources is monitoring river levels and say the advisory will remain in effect until Friday.

Alberta Government River Resources