Extreme cold temperatures in Missouri are very dangerous. Prolonged exposure to the cold can cause frostbite, hypothermia, or in extreme cases death. Excessive cold is one of the leading weather-related causes of death across the country. People most at risk for extremely cold temperatures are infants and the elderly. Freezing temperatures can cause damage to crops and property.
Frostbite occurs when the skin becomes cold enough to actually freeze. A loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance is signs of frostbite. The most affected areas are fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the nose are, which are the most common areas affected. Frostbite can permanently damage the body. People most at risk are people who have reduced blood circulation and people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.
Hypothermia can occur during long periods of exposure when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Signs of hypothermia are a person who becomes disoriented, confused, and shivers uncontrollable, eventually leading to drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.