"Is it a drought-buster? Absolutely not," National Weather Service meteorologist Victor Murphy said. "Will it bring short-term improvement? Yes."
As many as 10,000 people lost power in Oklahoma, as did thousands more in Texas.
"I have a gas cooking stove and got the oven going," said Ann Smith, owner of the Standifer House Bed and Breakfast in Elk City, Okla., late Monday afternoon. Her daughter and grandchildren had come over because they lost power.
"If it gets cold tonight, I guess we'll have to put pallets in the kitchen," Smith said with a laugh.
Colorado and New Mexico were the first to see the system Sunday night, with up to two feet falling in the foothills west of Denver.
As it moved into the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles Monday, the storm ground travel to a halt, closing miles of interstates and state highways.
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Daniel Hawthorne said about a dozen motorists had to be rescued, but no one was injured. The National Weather Service in Lubbock reported at one point that as many as 100 vehicles were at a standstill on Interstate 27.
Extremely strong winds whipped around at least a foot or more of snow in the Texas Panhandle, and a hurricane-force gust of 75 miles per hour was recorded at the Amarillo airport. Amarillo recorded the biggest snowfall total in Texas – 19 inches, just short of the record of 19.3 – while Fritch was second with 16.