Voices Ice forms on the shore of the East River due to unusually low temperatures caused by a polar vortex in New York

All 50 US states are below freezing as the polar vortex sworls around North America, shattering temperature records and causing a collective shudder across the continent.

Simon Kelner: We're simply not made for this bothersome weather

Why is the automatic assumption in Britain that hot, sunny weather is a good thing? The newspapers are filled with pictures of people (perhaps, more correctly, I should say young women) frolicking in the sea at Brighton, with triumphal headlines saying it's hotter here than Marbella. Or was it Mars? Glorious day, strangers say, by way of a greeting. And there is a common belief that sunshine puts everyone in a good mood.

Mum’s the word: Sadie Frost performs ‘Touched... Like A Virgin’

In the groove with pop and pregnancy

Sadie Frost's one-woman show mixes Madonna and motherhood. By Charlotte Cripps

Between the Covers: 13/05/2012

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

Weekend Work: Time to re-pot tomatoes

What to do

Vitec snaps up Camera Corps

The founder of a TV camera company whose specialist equipment is used at everything from top sporting events to the reality show Big Brother is celebrating its £8m sale.

Red, red vine: If you're after a bumper crop of tomatoes there's only one variety to go for...

If you're in possession of a greenhouse, now is the time to sow tomato seeds. And if it's a bumper crop of juicy fruit you're after, there's only one variety to go for

Peter Skyllberg’s car was covered in snow 2ft deep before a group of snow mobilers discovered it

How did a man buried in this frozen car for two months come out of it alive?

Astonishing tale of survival from Sweden as 44-year-old endures temperature of -30C with only ice to sustain him

Tom Croft has said that senior players should be prepared to take more responsibility in helping determine style and strategy

Brian Ashton: Time to raise the tempo after snowshoe shuffle

Tackling The Issues

Call for energy bill cuts as hypothermia deaths almost double

Calls for energy bills to be cut intensified last night after it emerged that the number of people dying of hypothermia has almost doubled in the past five years.

A woman walks along a snow covered road in Sixfields, Northampton

Arctic conditions expected to ease

Today is likely to see the end of the cold snap, with the mercury finally rising slightly after several days of record-breaking sub-zero temperatures, according to forecasters.

Gas price fall sees BG slash fracking in US

BG Group is dramatically scaling back plans to employ the controversial practice of "fracking" for shale gas in the US.

British greenhouse gases rise for first time since 2003

There was a significant increase in UK greenhouse gases in 2010 for the first time in several years, Government figures confirmed yesterday.

Many motorway drivers were forced to spend the night in their cars as the snow brought traffic to a standstill on the M25, while Heathrow Airport cancelled a third of its flights.

Heavy snow leaves roads treacherous

Heavy overnight snow brought severe disruption to road, rail and air travel today with motorists being urged to take extra care in treacherous conditions.

Minus 11 as UK braces for widespread snow

Britain is lying in wait for widespread snow this weekend after another bitterly cold day in which temperatures in some places struggled to get above freezing.

Met Office puts out serious alert

The Met Office issued an England-wide serious weather alert yesterday as the nation continued to shiver in freezing conditions.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...