From the Sacramento Bee:

Rain can't come soon enough for California farmers and ranchers, who are counting the hours in anticipation of Thursday's forecast arrival of meaningful showers.

A nearly bone-dry fall/early winter season has been accompanied by periodic freezing conditions in December and this week.

Hard freezes have already caused crop damage in some California fields, but agriculture industry officials say a good soaking – and the accompanying warmer temperatures – will go a long way toward easing landowners' anxieties.

Agriculture groups throughout the state are still assessing crop damage caused by Tuesday morning's hard freeze, which saw temperatures dip into the 20s in Northern California's agricultural valleys.

For more, see: California farmers eagerly await rain