carlacastagno / iStock

This year's long winter was especially tough for those who don't have somewhere warm to call their own. Vermont's mix of cities, towns and rural areas posed unique problems for the homeless here, and for the people trying to help them. 

Toby Talbot / AP/file

With 18 inches of ice on the Winooski River, the city of Montpelier is asking residents and businesses to be proactive and prepare for potential spring flooding.

The city of Winooski is asking residents to leave the water running.

That's part of the city's effort to prevent the water main breaks and frozen pipes that have caused extensive trouble this week.

Winooski Public Works Director Peter Wernsdorfer says the recent cold weather has been tough on the city's network of underground water lines.

Because of that, the city is asking residents to turn a faucet on and let the water run so it won't freeze in the distribution lines.

parkerdeen / iStock

Dozens of schools were closed again in Vermont on Monday. The culprit this time was the low temperature, not heavy snowfall. Bitter cold makes starting buses and heating school buildings a big challenge.

Bryan Pfeiffer

If you've been out in the early morning lately, you may have been hearing the welcome arrival of more birdsong. Don’t get too hopeful – it doesn’t mean spring is coming.

National Weather Service

Lake Champlain has completely frozen over for the second year in a row, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS Burlington office announced Monday that the lake is fully frozen. According to the agency's data, the Feb. 16 freeze makes 2015 the third year in the past 10 when the lake has frozen over completely.

Last year, it froze completely by Feb. 12. Before that, Lake Champlain hadn't "closed" since March 2007.

Toby Talbot / AP

What is it with winter? Some Vermonters resign themselves to the fact that if you want to live here, you're going to have to deal with at least five (and maybe six) months of cold, ice and snow. Others can't wait to dive headlong into the white stuff. And others still might like it for adornment around the holidays, but then wish it and the shorter days away as quickly as possible.

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Wednesday that Vermont is sending 40 National Guard soldiers to Massachusetts to help that state deal with a record amount of snow that's fallen there in over the past few weeks.

"We're going to send a dozen dump trucks, a number of backhoes, loaders and other equipment, basically to help them dig out," Shumlin said.

The soldiers from the 131st Engineer Company will be based about 20 miles northwest of Boston for the next two weeks.

Eye On The Sky

Snow blanketed much of the state overnight and continues to fall Monday, with forecasts in some areas predicting more than a foot of snow.

Schools were closed Monday in almost every county in Vermont and road conditions remained poor through the morning, with low visibility and extreme cold that makes road salt less effective.

The Eye on the Sky weather forecast predicts at least four to six inches of snow everywhere in Vermont, with more in the south.

Eye on the Sky

A powerful coastal storm is forecasted to bring heavy snow and high wind to Vermont, beginning in the southern part of the state on Monday afternoon and moving northward through Tuesday.

Final update 1/28/15 11:09 a.m. Montpelier's parking ban will end at 1 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29; parking will once again be permitted on city streets between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Gov. Peter Shumlin is requesting an extension from the federal government so the state can finish its assessment of last month’s storm damage.

The storm that hit the state December 9 through 12 caused well over $1 million in damage – that’s the statewide threshold to qualify for federal assistance – but officials want to have a final number ready before they ask for a disaster declaration from President Obama.

Green Mountain Power and the Vermont Agency of Transportation are preparing for some bad weather that could down power lines and make the state’s roads especially dangerous for holiday travel.

VPR/Angela Evancie

In the aftermath of last week’s storm, Vermont’s major electric utilities issued a steady stream of news releases detailing the number of customers without service.  

But information on storm related telephone outages was hard to come by.

FairPoint Communications, the state’s principal telephone company, says it can't determine how many customers lost service due to the storm.  

Both FairPoint and Green Mountain Power, the largest utility, rely on a mix of technology and customer calls to determine how many people are without service.

Glenn Russell / Burlington Free Press

After more than a foot of snow fell on parts of Vermont Tuesday and Wednesday, road crews and utilities are working around the clock to restore service across the state. Officials say the heavy, wet snow caused outages and road closures across much of the state.

Final Update 12/16/14 10:45 p.m.

Green Mountain Power has declared outage repairs complete, though the company and two others still have a combined total of less than 1,000 customers without power.

VPR / Ric Cengeri

Living in the north country, we are obsessed with weather. And for good reason. The weather can change in a hurry and can bring with it some bizarre stuff. The recent storm is a great example of that.

We devote the entire show to our weird, wicked and sometimes wonderful weather.

Greg Hanson, hydrologist for the National Weather Service, and Dr. Jay Shafer, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Lyndon State College, look at the year in weather, explains why we just got dumped on, and gives us an idea of what the months ahead have in store.

Sage Van Wing / VPR

Maddie Magnant of South Burlington tells us what she loves about each of Vermont's distinct — sometimes lovely, sometimes taxing — seasons.

Spring? "I love animals." Summer? "I'd have to go with some of the kids classics: ice cream, swimming in pools." Fall? "Red, gold, tiger orange, jade." Winter? "I can finally have some time to myself."

John Dillon / VPR

Vermont utilities have teamed up with computer scientists and weather experts to develop more precise forecasts of severe storm events. The project was unveiled Wednesday at a meeting of emergency planners in Waterbury. 

Tom Dunn is CEO of the Vermont Electric Power Company, which operates the statewide transmission grid. He says Vermont has seen an increase in the frequency and severity of storm events. Tropical Storm Irene washed away a half mile of power line. "In 2013, the Vermont Electric Co-op and Green Mountain Power spent over $22 million in storm response," he said.

Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Remember back to school biology and the basic lesson that chlorophyll gives plants their pigment. Chlorophyll is also important in photosynthesis as plants convert light into nutrients in order to grow. So what happens inside leaves in the fall when days get shorter, the air gets colder, and the leaves change color and explode into the incredible display we so love at this time of year? It’s all about the pigments, says UVM Extension Professor Leonard Perry.

Nina Keck / VPR

In May and July, two intense hail storms hammered Rutland, causing millions in damages to homes and cars. Repairs are ongoing and insurance money has flooded the region.

Susan Keese / VPR

The Brattleboro Housing Authority is asking the public to come up with a new use for Melrose Terrace, a public housing complex in West Brattleboro. The 50-year-old complex can no longer receive federal subsidies because it’s in a flood hazard zone. Its residents will move to new public housing in a few years. But officials say the sturdy, red brick buildings at Melrose should be good for something. Suggestions have been pouring in.