The chill of mid-winter has set in around the northern hemisphere, bringing freezing temperatures to much of Asia, and an unusual snowstorm to the Mideast this week. People are coping where they must and playing where they can, from China to Maine, from Minnesota to Austria. Gathered here are a few recent images of the chilly weather across the north.
People skate on chained sleds on a frozen lake in Beijing, on January 6, 2013. Temperatures in China have plunged to their lowest in almost three decades, official media said over the weekend. Since late November the country has shivered at an average of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius (25 F), 1.3 degrees colder than the previous average, and the chilliest in 28 years, state news agency Xinhua said, citing the China Meteorological Administration.
A street vendor sells fruit and vegetables covered in snow on the side of the road in the West Bank town of Hebron on January 9, 2013. Extreme weather, including torrential rains and heavy winds, killed four people in Israel and the Palestinian territories on January 8, as widespread flooding swept the Middle East.
(Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images)
People celebrate the pagan rite called "Kolyadki" in the village of Zhazhelka, some 48 km (30 miles) east of Minsk, on January 7, 2013. Kolyada is a pagan winter holiday, which over the centuries has merged with Orthodox Christmas celebrations in Ukraine and some parts of Belarus.