According to Minnesota Public Radio the country has been experiencing one of the longest droughts in years, leaving farmers and firefighters  worried. Water levels for lakes Michigan and Huron and the Mississippi River are abysmally low, and out West 9.2 million acres of forest went up in smoke this past year.

For Tom Schwarz in Nebraska, as reported by MPR, lack of snow followed by a dry spring could mean the end of his 750-acre farm. Out in Divide, Colorado fire chief Tom O’Connor is struggling to recover from one of the state’s most damaging wildfire seasons. It would take an obscene amount of snow to compensate for 2012’s dry spell (at least eight feet, and some say more than 12 feet). But climatologists haven’t ruled out the possibility of a winter storm.