This time next week we'll probably be right back where we were, with warmer-than-we-deserve temperatures and windless, bone-dry conditions. But for now, it's colder, cloudier, and tomorrow night the parched earth around us is going to get a much needed drizzle. Please feel free to pick a faith or tribal tradition and perform whatever ritual or prayer its followers prescribe for such times. Because we need some goddamn rain.

Certainly if things were to change and we spent the next month under a Portland-style storm cloud, we'd be feeling much different. But we were spoiled all November, December, and most of January now, and we've had, what, like a week of cold weather last month? Yes, it's time for things to change, and for us all to remember that it's still winter.

There's a weak storm heading our way, and it's not even going to fill a saucer it'll be so light — something like a half inch of rain will probably fall in and around San Francisco between Wednesday night and Thursday. Then there's no more moisture coming until maybe on Super Bowl Sunday (another possible drizzle), and then the next week is pretty much clear again with highs near 60 or better. And we will still be in a drought no matter what unless February and March bring deluges and mad torrents of rain.

For the Tahoe-bound ski crowd, there's a bit more rain headed to our north, and I read something about a possible new foot of snow in the higher elevations this weekend, so that's nice news for you.

For the rest of us, think of it as a necessary shower after a very long walk through the desert. The dusty, unwashed land can't go any further, or meet anyone new, without one.