Worst winter ever? Snow challenges records in some cities

(Photo: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters file)

The winter of our discontent isn’t over. The Northeast will enjoy a brief warm-up this week, but meteorologists are warning residents across a wide swath of the country to brace for at least another month of bone-chilling temperatures, ice and snow.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Waterfall freezes solid in frigid New York

(Photo via NBC Nightly News)

How cold was it? Cold enough to freeze solid the Salmon River Falls in upstate New York.

NBC News’ Katy Tur reports from the banks of the Oswego River

(Source: NBCNews.com)

Volcanic eruption raises new island in Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire’

(Photo: Kyodo News via AP)

A volcanic eruption has raised a new island, according to earthquake experts and the Japanese coast guard.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Photographer captures electrifying images from rim of the Grand Canyon

(Photo: Rolf Maeder / Rex Features via AP)

Using long exposures, photographer Rolf Maeder managed to capture multiple lightning strikes hitting the Grand Canyon under atmospheric stormy skies. 

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Utah copper mine suspends operations after large landslide

(Photo: Ravell Call / The Deseret News via AP)

The Kennecott Copper Bingham Canyon Mine sits quiet after a landslide on April 11, 2013, in Bingham Canyon, Utah. Kennecott has suspended mining inside one of the world’s deepest open pits as geologists assess a landslide the company says it anticipated for months.

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Obama designates five new national monuments

(Photos: Handout / Reuters)

President Barack Obama signed proclamations Monday designating five locations around the country as new national monuments to protect large tracts of land and historical sites, a White House official said. 

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Enormous wave dwarfs surfer Garrett McNamara along coast of Portugal

(Photo: To Mane / EPA)

Surfer Garrett McNamara catches what could be the largest wave ever surfed, off the coast of Nazare, Portugal, on Jan. 29. The estimated 100-foot wave, if confirmed, would beat the current world record of 78 feet, which McNamara has held since 2011.

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Incredible sight forms when dust storm and rain clouds combine over Indian ocean

(Photo: Brett Martin / fishwrecked.com via Reuters)

Western Australians witnessed a freakish dust storm off the coast of Onslow on Wednesday. The stunning views were created as wind and rain caused the storm to dump the sand and dust it had ingested while passing Onslow, Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Austen Watkins.

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Super typhoon stirs awe from space

(Photo: NASA / JSC)

The awesome power of Typhoon Bopha was in full view of the International Space Station over the weekend, and since then the Pacific storm has strengthened to super typhoon status with sustained winds greater than 150 mph (240 kilometers per hour). The storm was headed for the Philippines, where memories of last year’s killer storm are still fresh.

Lava flows to the ocean in Hawaii, creating rare natural show

(Photo: Hugh Gentry / Reuters)

Reuters reportsA volcano on Hawaii’s largest island is spilling lava into the ocean, creating a rare and spectacular fusion of steam and waves that officials said could attract thrill-seeking visitors if it continues.

Lava from a vent in Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii began flowing into the ocean 7 miles away on Saturday. The volcano has been erupting continuously from its Pu’u O’o vent since 1983.

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It appears beaches are back after Grand Canyon flooding

(Photo: Kyrie Fry / USGS)

Sandy beaches have reappeared more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) downstream of Glen Canyon Dam, an early measure of success for a massive flood last week designed to rebuild habitat along the Colorado River in the iconic Grand Canyon.

Your images of Hurricane Sandy’s approach

(Photo submitted by Warren Henderson)

Are you in the path of Hurricane Sandy? How are you preparing for the storm? If safe to do so, share your pictures and video using the form linked below. You can also submit pictures on Twitter and Instagram by tagging them #NBCNewsPics.

View photos and submit your own.

Sandy slams Cuba, could hit US as ‘Nor’easter on steroids’

(Photo: Franklin Reyes  /  AP)

Hurricane Sandy, strengthening rapidly after crossing the warm Caribbean Sea, slammed into southeastern Cuba early Thursday with 110 mph winds that cut power, damaged homes and blew over trees across the city of Santiago de Cuba.

The storm has a 70 percent chance of smacking the Northeast and mid-Atlantic next week with gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and maybe even snow, forecasters said.

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Tree stalker: Photographing a year in the life of a tree

(Photos: Mark Hirsch)

"I drove by that tree for 19 years and never took a single frame of it,” photographer Mark Hirsch told NBC News.  The tree, a massive oak, is on his way home, along a country road in southwest Wisconsin.

But one day when a friend challenged Hirsch to try out the camera on his new iPhone 4S, he stopped his truck and trudged 500 yards through the snow to make his first picture of the tree (left frame, above). Surprised by the image quality - despite being used to professional gear – he showed the pictures to another friend who told him it could be a cool project if he did more.

Winter storms to be named by Weather Channel

(Photo: Weather.com)

During the upcoming 2012-13 winter season, The Weather Channel will name noteworthy winter storms. Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.

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What’s your favorite storm name? Yogi? Gandolf? Nemo? Q?