The storm forecast to bring windswept snow and blizzard conditions Wednesday and Thursday will bring needed moisture to drought-stricken winter wheat and corn areas, as well as other agriculture over a large part of the Plains.
The storm is projected to bring a general 6 inches to 1 foot of snow over a large area of the central Plains from northwestern and north-central Kansas to much of Nebraska, southeastern South Dakota and much of Iowa.
The important moisture content (liquid equivalent) of the snow will average between one-third and two-thirds of an inch with a few places picking up a bit more.
The snow will slowly melt and seep into the ground in the coming days and weeks.
Unfortunately, snow or rain will not fall in earnest everywhere over the Plains. Little precipitation is forecast from southwestern Kansas to western Texas. However, part of this area did receive snow about a week ago with the equivalent of an average of one-quarter to one-half an inch of rain.
Of concern is the risk of severe weather from parts of Texas to Mississippi from the storm system.
Meanwhile, a series of storms during the middle of the winter has staved off record low levels of the Mississippi River at St. Louis. Water levels have been in positive territory over the past couple of weeks. Levels were about 3 feet as of Feb. 19. The record low mark at St. Louis is minus 6.20 feet set on Jan. 16, 1940.