Weather in Vermont: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Autumn in Vermont
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In Vermont, the weather morphs with the arrival of each season, opening the door to new outdoor pursuits: skiing, fishing, hiking, biking, paddling, ATVing, and leaf peeping. As New England's only landlocked state, it's less subject to summer storms that roll up the coast, yet it's prone to hefty amounts of snowfall. Winter lasts nearly half the year in Vermont's famous mountains, which are magnets for skiers and snowboarders. The snow then melts into mud season before the dawn of true spring, and in the summer, days are warmer and more humid than you might expect. Fall couldn't be more beautiful, not only in a visual sense but for its crisp and invigorating coolness.

Because of Vermont's varied elevations, you can anticipate a degree of unpredictability to the weather that makes checking local forecasts 48 or even 24 hours ahead of your trip a wise idea. Precipitation does happen year-round. In the spring and autumn shoulder seasons, there can be a 30- to 40-degree swing in temperatures over the course of a week, as well as a tremendous difference between daytime and nighttime temps. Vermont's climate is a distinct part of its character, and Vermonters are attuned to and serious about combating climate change. Dress in layers—flannel and fleece are best bets for blending in with the natives—and you'll enjoy sightseeing and exploring, whatever the weather holds.

Fast Climate Facts

Note: These temperatures are for Rutland, Vermont.

  • Hottest Month: July (80 degrees F)
  • Coldest Month: January (29 degrees F)
  • Wettest Month: July (4.8 inches)
  • Best Month for Skiing: March (for the snowiest, best conditions and more tolerable daytime temperatures)

Urgent Winter Storm Information

A Nor'easter can slam Vermont with feet—not mere inches—of snow, and even when the white stuff doesn't amount to much, it can slicken roads. Be prepared to alter your Vermont travel plans in the event of inclement winter weather. Check Vermont Emergency Management's VT-ALERT for winter weather advisories.

Vermont's Jenne Farm in Winter
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Winter in Vermont

There's a reason they call Vermont's Killington ski resort the "Beast of the East." The largest ski area in Vermont (and all of New England) also has the region's longest ski season. Earliest ever opening date? October 1. Latest ever closing? June 22. Whether natural or machine-made, snow on the ground means it's cold. And the closer you get to the Canadian border in the winter, the colder temperatures are likely to be. In fact, the tiny northern Vermont town of Bloomfield set a record for the coldest temp ever recorded in New England back in 1933: negative 50 degrees Fahrenheit (the Maine village of Clayton Lake tied that frigid mark in 2009).

Before you label Vermont the land of eternal winter, though, you should know that in the state's lower elevations, the cycle of seasons is much more similar to what you'd experience in the rest of the Northeast. There are plenty of winter fun activities in Vermont for non-skiers, from dog sled trips and winter hikes to brewery visits and photo shoots at Jenne Farm, where you can capture classic scenes of red farm buildings against a backdrop of snowy white.

What to pack: Snowfall in Vermont can be extreme, so be sure to pack a well-insulated winter coat, warm boots, a hat, scarf, mittens, long underwear, and maybe even hand and toe warmers if you're visiting between November and April.

Average Temperatures by Month for Rutland (Expect Cooler Temperatures Further North and in Higher Elevations):

  • December: High: 34 degrees F; Low: 16 degrees F
  • January: High: 29 degrees F; Low: 8 degrees F
  • February: High: 32 degrees F; Low: 9 degrees F
  • March: High: 42 degrees F; Low: degrees 19 F

Spring in Vermont

In Vermont, spring is the short, delicious season when maple sap flows out of trees and eventually onto pancakes (or into cocktails if you prefer maple spirits to maple syrup). You can still ski, but you'll also start to see hints of green in the landscape after a period of muddiness. By April, fly fishing fanatics are out in force, wading into Vermont's rivers to cast for trout (wearing appropriate gear, of course). Manchester, Vermont, is the epicenter of fly fishing in New England: It's home to both the American Museum of Fly Fishing and the Orvis Vermont Fly-Fishing School.

What to pack: You'll want to be prepared for cool or even cold temperatures, depending on the elevation and latitude of your Vermont destination. You should also plan for sloppy conditions as the snow melts. Bring snow or rubber boots, extra socks, and right-for-the-weather gear for outdoor activities.

Average Temperatures by Month for Rutland:

  • April: High: 56 degrees F; Low: 32 degrees F
  • May: High: 68 degrees F; Low: 43 degrees F

Summer in Vermont

Once school's out in June, the heat starts to ratchet up in Vermont, and warm weather can linger into September. Yes, Vermont is a mountainous northern state, but don't be fooled if you plan to spend time outdoors hiking and climbing. The sun is potent, the air is thin, daylight hours are long in the summertime, and sunscreen is a must to protect yourself from UV exposure.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Vermont was back in 1911, when the mercury hit 105 degrees Fahrenheit in the southeastern town of Vernon. Expect the temperature to top out in the 80s on most summer days, but know that it can occasionally get hotter.

What to pack: For protection from both the sun and biting insects, you'll want jeans and long-sleeve shirts in addition to shorts and T-shirts. Bring a towel, swimsuit, and water shoes for paddling adventures or visits to Vermont's lake beaches. A sweatshirt's a must for stargazing after dark, as is an umbrella for rainy days.

Average Temperatures by Month for Rutland:

  • June: High: 76 degrees F; Low: 52 degrees F
  • July: High: 80 degrees F; Low: 57 degrees F
  • August: High: 88 degrees F; Low: 55 degrees F
Trees in forest during Autumn
Enn Li  Photography / Getty Images

Fall in Vermont

Vermonters are certain they have the world's best fall foliage, and leaf peeping is a spectator sport with universal appeal. The color change begins up north and in the highest elevations, triggered by cooling temperatures and shortening days. The optimal time to catch the show is typically the last week of September through the middle of October; however, color can stick around through late October in the southern part of the state, particularly if storms don't dislodge leaves from limbs prematurely. Cool photo ops await when snow and bright leaves can be captured in the same frame.

What to pack: Prepare to layer up in the fall by packing T-shirts, button-down overshirts, sweaters and sweatshirts, and a mid-weight jacket. Sturdy hiking boots are smart if you'll be venturing into the woods.

Average Temperatures by Month for Rutland:

  • September: High: 69 degrees F; Low: 46 degrees F
  • October: High: 58 degrees F; Low: 35 degrees F
  • November: High: 46 degrees F; Low: 27 degrees F
Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours (Rutland, VT)
Month Avg. Temp. Rainfall Daylight Hours
January 18 F 2.5 in 9.4 hours
February 21 F 2.2 in 10.5 hours
March 29 F 2.8 in 12 hours
April 42 F 2.9 in 13.5 hours
May 55 F 3.7 in 14.7 hours
June 63 F 4 in 15.4 hours
July 69 F 4.8 in 15 hours
August 68 F 4.1 in 13.9 hours
September 61 F 3.7 in 12.5 hours
October 48 F 3.8 in 11 hours
November 36 F 3.3 in 9.7 hours
December 25 F 2.8 in 9 hours