Most of the rivers and streams in southern, central and western Maine were placed under a flood watch Sunday by the National Weather Service, which warned that the recent warming trend could cause ice jams to melt and break up.

The jams have the potential to flood streets and roadways, according to the weather service, which issued the flood watch on Sunday afternoon. It will remain in effect until 7 a.m. Monday.

Meteorologist Michael Ekster said the weather service will be keeping an eye on all rivers and streams in the area. He said the Kennebec River does have the potential to flood.

“Recent warm temperatures have generated significant melting of the snowpack,” the weather service said in a statement posted on its website. “This melting combined with recent rainfalls will result in elevated water levels on area rivers and streams.”

Portland is in the midst of an unusual late February warming trend, which started Friday when the high temperature hit 53 degrees. It was 50 degrees on Saturday, 46 degrees on Sunday, and the high for Monday could reach 52 degrees.

Concord, New Hampshire, set a new record Friday when the temperature there climbed to 69 degrees. That broke a record of 68 degrees set on Feb. 24, 1880, Ekster said.

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