Moscow - which is more or less where our current weather is coming from - registered a record low temperature of -32C on Monday night, four degrees lower than the previous record in 1902. Five people died of cold overnight, 25 were taken to hospital with severe frostbite and 31 others were treated for lesser cases of frostbite. One person was killed by ice falling from a rooftop.
More than 20 people are reported to have died in the recent cold spell in northern Mexico, which brought some regions their first snow for more than a century. Temperatures have been as low as -24C.
Typhoon Paka, which bore down yesterday on Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, reached sustained winds of 155mph, which earned it the classification of a "super-typhoon". More than 50 pregnant women were taken to Guam Memorial Hospital as a precaution, since the pressure from the storm can induce childbirth in women who are seven or more months pregnant.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, more tropical forest burned down during 1997 than in any other year in recorded history.