An unusually cold weather front swept across much of eastern Asia, bringing with it heavy snow, freezing fog and record low temperatures.

All-time lows were recorded at 24 weather stations around China over the weekend (22 to 24 January). Hebei Province, in the north of the country, saw the mercury plummet to minus 41C (–43F). In the south, the normally subtropical city of Guangzhou saw its first snowfall in almost 50 years.

The sea off the coast of Qingdao and Dalian froze, trapping fishing boats in the ice. Forested areas were transformed into a winter wonderland as freezing rain left a thick coat of ice on leaves and branches. Many coastal areas saw the formation of abstract ice sculptures created by the build-up of layers of frozen sea spray.

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Boats are trapped in ice in the frozen Jiaozhou Bay in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong provinceAFP
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Frozen sea water is seen off the coast of Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong provinceAFP
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The frozen sea off the coast of Dalian, in northeast China's Liaoning provinceAFP
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A man runs in subzero temperatures at a park in Shenyang, Liaoning province, ChinaReuters
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A rope fence is covered with frozen sea spray at a dock in Yantai, Shandong ProvinceChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
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A seagull flies over the ice-coated waterfront of Penglai, in eastern China's Shandong provinceAFP
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Tourists look at ice-covered trees on an island along the Songhua River in Jilin City, Jilin ProvinceChina FotoPress/Getty Images
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A woman takes a picture of the wintry landscape in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang provinceAFP
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Ice coats the leaves of shrubs by the side of the West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang provinceReuters
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Icicles hang under a bridge handrail on the West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang provinceReuters
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Residents of Guangzhou in Guangdong province take photos of the first snow the city has witnessed since 1967Reuters
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A man walks past vats inside a snow-covered soy sauce mill in Jinhua, Zhejiang provinceReuters
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Ice coats the branches of a tree in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang provinceAFP
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People walk along a snow-covered beach in Rongcheng, in eastern China's Shandong provinceAFP
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An aerial picture of a snow-covered village, in Xi'an, Shaanxi provinceReuters
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A snow-covered highway is temporarily closed during the cold snap in Shaoguan, south China's Guangdong provinceAFP
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A section of a highway that was closed because of heavy snow in Shaoguan, south China's Guangdong provinceAFP
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Icicles hang off the tape used to cordon off a frozen section of West Lake in Hangzhou, in eastern China's Zhejiang provinceAFP
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Ice patterns decorate a window at a house in Binzhou, east China's Shandong provinceAFP
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Tourists take selfies after a snowfall in Xi'an, Shaanxi provinceReuters
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A panda rolls in the snow inside an enclosure at a zoo in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang provinceAFP
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A monkey holding a baby looks up at the snow falling at a zoo in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang provinceAFP
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Birds perch on heating pipes in subzero temperatures at Beijing ZooReuters

The polar vortex swept in from Siberia, pushing as far south as Hong Kong. Temperatures in Taiwan plunged to a 16-year low, killing at least 85 mostly elderly people. Hong Kong recorded its coldest temperature in nearly six decades. Heavy snow in western and central Japan left at least five people dead. Lower than normal temperatures were also recorded in Vietnam, Thailand and northern India.