MONTPELIER (AP) -- The National Weather Service is warning of an increased threat of spring flooding in Vermont and upstate New York because of the continued cold temperatures that has kept the deep snow from melting.

In its regular spring flooding outlook released Thursday, the weather service says there are above average amounts of snow on the ground in much of Vermont and northern New York. At the same time, the region’s rivers and streams remain frozen.

In the valleys across the region there are between 1 and 2 feet of snow with the amount increasing with elevation to 4 to 6 feet above 2,500 feet.

In the valleys the snow is thought to contain 2 to four 4 inches of liquid water. Above 2,500 feet the snow contains 8 inches to a foot of water.

"Mountain peaks contained a very impressive foot to 18 inches of liquid water," the report said.

As the inevitable spring melt is delayed, it increases the likelihood that heavy spring rains and warm weather will melt the snow, potentially causing floods that could be worsened by the still-frozen rivers.

The immediate forecast is for continued temperatures below normal, but the longer the spring melt is delayed the greater the probability of heavy rain and warm temperatures.