Ski photography competition – in pictures

Four of the world’s best action sports photographers were invited to Killer Loop Click on the Mountain, a photography competition in the Courmayeur Mont Blanc area. Accompanied by a team of professional snowboarders, skiers and an Alpine guide, they had four days to shoot a portfolio. See more

Photographs, top to bottom: Tim Lloyd (1), Marius Schwager (2 and 3). 

Huge snowball fight in Washington – video

Scores of people join a huge snowball fight in Washington DC after a powerful winter storm shut down much of the US capital city. In view of Capitol Hill and the Washington monument, participants form two teams and then charge towards each other with their snowballs. Watch the video

Bitter cold turns caves on Great Lakes into stunning ice sculptures – in pictures

It’s been so cold for so long in the midwest that the Great Lakes are almost completely covered with ice. The last time they came this close was in 1994, when 94% of the lakes’ surface was frozen. As of Thursday, ice cover extended across 88%, according to the federal government’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor. See more

Photos: Brian Peterson/AP

US east coast weather is generally awful – in pictures

As a wave of snow, ice and sleet sweeps eastward, Americans from Texas through Georgia and New York are struggling with the freezing deluge. See more

Photos, top to bottom: (1) Miaden Antonov/AFP/Getty Images; (2) Matt Rourke/AP; (3) Zhang Jun/Xinhua Press/Corbis

Heavy snow as winter storm hits US east coast – live updates

• NYC mayor defends decision to keep schools open
• ‘It is absolutely a beautiful day out there’ chancellor says
• No trash collection ‘in earnest’ in NYC until Tuesday
• Almost 20 inches of snow in Appalachian mountains

Click here for live updates and summaries 

Above: A man clears snow in front of the Gold Shing Market in Chinatown, New York. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP

Winter storm blamed for nine deaths as snow system moves up east coast

The second wintry storm in two weeks to hit the US south brought treacherous conditions to highways, forced thousands of flight cancellations and knocked out electricity to nearly a half-million homes and businesses.

At least nine traffic deaths across the region were blamed on the weather, including three people who were killed when an ambulance careened off an icy west Texas road and caught fire. Nearly 3,300 airline flights nationwide were cancelled.

Forecasters warned of a potentially “catastrophic” storm across the south with more than an inch of ice possible in places. Read more

Photograph: Hal Yeagar/AP

Extreme UK weather - live coverage. Over 100 flood warnings are in place as winter storms continue in the UK. Click here to follow developments

Enormous waves in Saltdean, East Sussex. Photograph: Yosserian/GuardianWitness. Submit your photos of the weather to GuardianWitness - but please stay safe.

North-east US snowstormSixteen dead after storm hits north-east while the midwest braces for ‘life-threatening’ cold. More coverage

Share your photos. Send us your photos and stories of the extreme weather. We will include them in the Guardian’s storm coverage.

Photographs: New York City, Oooooana/GuardianWitness

Basket with Six Oranges: Vincent van Gogh (1888)

These oranges are incandescent, so bright you take a dazed step backwards in the gallery. The white cloth scintillates, racing up towards the brilliant blue aura of a ship-shaped basket formed of twining, dancing willows. The fruits form a troupe of glowing spheres, apparently lit from within by their own vitamin C. Even the walls seem to be watching the show, admiring the celluloid crackle of sunshine on peel, the singular beauty of each fruit, and the sensational all-together-now performance. Van Gogh turns his winter fruits into a modest miracle.

Photograph: Private Collection

Brr - wrapping up warm for the trip home.

Night all!

A woman shields her face while braving the abnormally freezing outdoors in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 1,800 miles east of Moscow. The temperatures in Novosibirsk dropped this weekend to -35C. Photograph: Valery Titievsky/AFP/Getty Images