A high streamflow advisory has been issued by the BC River Forecast Centre for the Cariboo Region Thursday, April 22.
It includes the San Jose River, Baker Creek, Nazko River, West Road River and tributaries around Williams Lake, Quesnel and Prince George.
The first significant freshet is expected because of seasonally hot weather as a high-pressure ridge has set up in B.C.
Temperatures reached 17C in Prince George and Williams Lake on Wednesday and higher temperatures of 22C are anticipated as the week unfolds, peaking on Saturday.
Snow packs at higher elevations have not yet transitioned to snowmelt, the BC River Forecast Centre noted in the advisory, adding this warming is expected to lead to snowpack ripening.
At mid-elevations of 900 to 1300 metres. snow packs are closer to ripe, with increased snowmelt runoff expected through this period of warmer weather.
Mid-elevation rivers are expected to see significant rises through the rest of this week, and into the Saturday and Sunday period.
This includes tributaries and terrain across most of the plateau areas around the Cariboo, including tributary rivers in the Prince George, Quesnel, Williams Lake and Chilcotin area.
The forecast centre said the longer range hydrologic modelling is indicating the potential for flows to reach or exceed 20-year return period flows in some areas over the weekend and into early next week; if runoff trends over the next day or two continue to indicate this potential risk, advisories will be upgraded as required.
At this time the public is advised to stay clear of the fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks during the high-streamflow period.