Part of the winter wheat belt was blanketed with snow at the end of 2012, but more moisture is needed during the winter and spring.
Areas from the northern Texas Panhandle to central Kansas received from 1 to 8 inches snow during the storm that moved in Sunday night and continued into New Year's Eve.
According to Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler, "Any moisture at this point is needed, due to the extreme to exceptional drought impacting the region."
The snow contained anywhere from 0.10 to 0.80 of an inch of moisture or a 15- or 20-to-1, snow-to-water equivalent. In other words, some locations received 4 inches of snow out of 0.20 of an inch of water.
Winter wheat under a fresh covering of snow. (Photos.com image)
Some areas received rain or a wintry mix instead of snow.
The blanket of snow will slowly melt over the coming days as temperatures trend upward over much of the region.
The winter wheat, which is a form of grass, is planted in the fall, goes dormant over the winter, then re-sprouts in the spring. The finished grain (seeds) and straw are then harvested during late spring to early summer.
During January, Mohler expects some additional opportunities for moisture in portions of Oklahoma and Texas, but is concerned about a lack of rain and snow farther north in Kansas, Nebraska and the Plains of Colorado.
"Last year's winter wheat crop fared better than many crops over the Central States, as it matured and was harvested before the extreme heat and drought set in during the summer," Mohler added.
There is still plenty of time for the crop to improve this year, but there is a lot of ground to make up given the severity of the drought right now.
Portions of the central and southern Plains have received less than 20 percent of their normal rain (and melted snow) since August 1, 2012.
Following a dip in temperature during the middle of the week, summerlike warmth will rebound across much of the Northeast by this weekend.
An outbreak of severe weather is targeting areas from Texas to Nebraska Wednesday evening.
Daily episodes of severe thunderstorms and flooding downpours will impact the Plains this week, possibly lingering into the weekend.
While a few showers will pass east of the Bay Area, seasonable weather and sunshine will hold in place through the weekend.
The central and southern Plains will continue to be pummeled by strong storms for the next several days, but the most potent severe weather threat is likely to be during the Mother's Day weekend.
Wind, seas and surf will build in advance of what is likely to become the first tropical system of 2015 along the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States late this week.
Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes caused damage for the third consecutive night.
Natchez, MS (1840)
Great Natchez tornado: most deadly and destructive in all pre-U.S. Weather Bureau history. City in ruins; 340 killed, mostly by drowning in the river.
White Mountain 2, CA (1964)
-15 degrees; U.S. record for May (lower 48 states).