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Gallery: Photos of a cold winter wonderland

ABOVE: From a fountain stuck in place to Hell literally freezing over – check out these remarkable winter weather images from across North America 

With such extreme cold, it can sometimes be hard to see the beauty outside.

But many people are taking the opportunity to take pictures of the winter weather.

Temperatures have dipped well below seasonal across most of the country as well as the in the United States.

Sunlight streams through the windows of a building which caught on fire in Plattsmouth, Neb., Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, and the water sprayed on it by fire fighters froze. Much of the American northeast and the midwest are suffering from sub-freezing temperatures. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Sunlight streams through the windows of a building which caught on fire in Plattsmouth, Neb., Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, and the water sprayed on it by fire fighters froze. Much of the American northeast and the midwest are suffering from sub-freezing temperatures. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) AP Photo/Nati Harnik
David Roberts of Toronto, captured steam fog rising from Lake Ontario.
David Roberts of Toronto, captured steam fog rising from Lake Ontario. Courtesy David Roberts
Two inukshuk made out of ice stand during a winter cold snap, along the shore on Lake Ontario in Kingston, Ont., on Jan. 3, 2014.
Two inukshuk made out of ice stand during a winter cold snap, along the shore on Lake Ontario in Kingston, Ont., on Jan. 3, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg
A snow drift is blown across a frozen section of Lake Ontario on Tuesday January 7, 2014, as temperatures plummet to a -40 wind chill from a sharp Arctic cold front that is being dragged across the region by a winter storm.
A snow drift is blown across a frozen section of Lake Ontario on Tuesday January 7, 2014, as temperatures plummet to a -40 wind chill from a sharp Arctic cold front that is being dragged across the region by a winter storm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Waves of snow on a lake in Fergus, Ont.
Waves of snow on a lake in Fergus, Ont. Courtesy Dave Patrick (ontarioweather.com)
The sun rises over Fergus, Ont., with a halo and sundogs (to the left and right).
The sun rises over Fergus, Ont., with a halo and sundogs (to the left and right). Courtesy Dave Patrick (ontarioweather.com)
A photo of the beauty of winter taken from space by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite on Jan. 3.
A photo of the beauty of winter taken from space by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite on Jan. 3. AP Photo/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Winter in Winnipeg
Winter in Winnipeg Courtesy Laurie Braun (Rosenfeld) via Facebook
Dawn Schmidt Harris took this photo near McPhillips Avenue on Sunday morning.
Dawn Schmidt Harris took this photo near McPhillips Avenue on Sunday morning. Dawn Schmidt Harris via Facebook
Cold temperatures grip most of Canada
Water evaporates as it rises from the Saint Lawrence river in Montreal Friday, January 3, 2014. A frigid cold snap has caused major problems in the region for commuters and people getting around as temperatures dropped to record lows. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Guess someone doesn't quite see the beauty of winter. A snowbank on Archibald Street in Winnipeg.
Guess someone doesn't quite see the beauty of winter. A snowbank on Archibald Street in Winnipeg. Kurt Brownridge/Global News
Steam fog rises from Lake Ontario in the morning hours on Jan. 7.
Steam fog rises from Lake Ontario in the morning hours on Jan. 7. Kelly McElrea
A laker covered in ice.
A laker covered in ice. Courtesy of Jocelyn Wade

READ MORE: Arctic cold engulfs the country

The culprit in the cold weather is a polar vortex.

Though the polar vortex is not a new phenomenon, it usually remains far north.

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Over the past week, however, it has dipped far south and affected much of central Canada as well as the U.S. Midwest, prompting school bus cancellations, school closures, transit cancellations, and power outages.

In Indianapolis, the mayor even declared it illegal to drive.

Warmer weather is on its way, however, with temperatures set to rise by the end of the week across Canada.

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