BUTTE, Mont. -- With the clock turning to summer in less than a week, you might be tempted to partake in the warm weather by fishing at the Jefferson River or floating down the Big Hole. But with flooding around the state, it might be a good idea to wait a little while.

The good news for Butte residents is that flooding shouldn't be much of a problem. While nearby rivers are at elevated levels, Silver Bow County director of emergency management Jim Merrifield says that there are currently no red flags regarding flooding danger in the Mining City.

"We have meteorologists checking in with us, and they have expected the streams to have already crested," Merrifield said. "We have no reports of any flooding in any structures or anything like that, but we are monitoring the situation."

Still, that doesn't mean practicing water safety isn't important.

Data from USGS's water dashboard shows that local rivers are ranging from 3 to 12 degrees Celsius, or 37 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. That's far too cold for taking a dip or casting a line.

And with the high volume of flow, especially as warmer temperatures melt snowbanks into runoff, fast-moving water also presents a serious hazard.

"There's still snowpack in the hills," Merrifield said. "With the hot weather coming on Friday right before the weekend, all that could change very quickly."

"There's so many variables that go into the rivers this time of year," Merrifield continued. "It's really best to stay away if you can."

The Weather Network recommends waiting until water temperatures rise to around 25 degrees Celsius, or 77 degrees Fahrenheit, for river recreation.

To keep an eye on real-time water temperature updates, visit waterdata.usgs.gov/mt.

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