Weather

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.

Chester Fire Department

Town officials in Chester are still assessing the damage from Monday afternoon’s flash flooding. They say more than three inches of rain fell on Chester and the Williams River, creating the worst flooding since Tropical Storm Irene hit the area almost three years ago.

Town Manager David Pisha says a number of roads have washed out and culverts are plugged.

"The river moved up on Potash Brook Road, to the extent that we will probably be constructing a new bridge just to accommodate the move in the river," Pisha says.

Flash flooding closed roads in Chester and Andover yesterday. The Red Cross set up an evacuation shelter at the Chester Fire Department to support first responders and people who may have had to move to safety.

Rising floodwaters blocked roads for a time on Routes 11 and 103, but both roads have re-opened as of this morning.

The Red Cross says that one Chester woman’s home was devastated by flooding, and was possibly destroyed.

The shelter closed last night, and Vermont State Police say no one spent the night there.

Herb Swanson

Wouldn't it be great if you could have school closings, weather alerts and nearby road hazards all custom delivered to your phone or inbox? It's a technology that's already in full swing in New York, and is getting off the ground in Vermont.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

Last year at this time farm fields were soggy from rain. The bad weather hit dairy farms at a time when expenses outstripped income and it caused vegetable farmers to lose entire crops.  

It’s a different story this year: Milk prices are high and the weather is good.

In her job as Agronomy Outreach Professional with the University of Vermont Extension Service, Kirsten Workman visits farms throughout Addison and Chittenden counties. She remembers well the rains of last year.  

Kris Anderson

The day after Memorial Day a big storm hit Addison and Rutland County, raining down large hail and briefly touching off a tornado warning.

Kris Anderson returned home later to his farm in Addison to find a sight that sank his spirits and would positively make beer lovers, especially those who appreciate a fine IPA, weep openly. The storm had destroyed the 4,000 hops bines at his Addison Hop Farm.

Kris Anderson

A severe storm system moved through central Vermont on its way southeast this afternoon, producing a short-lived tornado warning and a shower of damaging hail.

While the tornado warning has expired, the National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for southern Windsor county and eastern Rutland county until 6 p.m.

Forecasters and storm chasers took to Twitter to document the storm, nostalgic, perhaps, for this year's punishing winter.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Rivers across the state are high and rising with a combination of snow melt and rain contributing to a surge, which officials say is likely to lead to flooding.

Update April 16th 6:30 a.m. The National Weather Service says that most rivers around Vermont should drop below flood stage today. But this morning, the freezing temperatures mean that many roadways are slippery. Crews are out, but Vermont Emergency Management is asking drivers to slow down on the roads and be mindful of conditions.

Officials in Montpelier are warning residents and business owners that a combination of melting snow Monday and rain on Tuesday could cause basement flooding along the North Branch of the Winooski River.

“Current trends indicate that the Winooski will crest at 14 feet late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning,” assistant city manager Jessie Baker said in a press release. Bakers said that level is "likely to result in basement flooding" near the river.

Angela Evancie / VPR

You know the old saying: March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, Wednesday and Thursday's weather may prove at least half of that adage true. A massive storm is hitting New England.

Track the National Weather Service radar for our region with this handy tool from WNYC.

Final Update 4:30 p.m. 3/13/14

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