THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. -

This week's dry, scorching heat gave way to heavy humidity, rain and rumbling.

"I heard the lightning and the thunder and we had probably a quarter inch of rain," said Paul Copeskey of Rancho Mirage.

"It was pretty surprising," said Eric Brooks of Palm Desert.

Fire crews were called out when lighting actually struck a palm tree, setting it on fire.
    
Many said the rain was a welcome change, except for the muggy conditions that come with it.

"The humidity definitely makes it a bit heavier, harder to breathe," Copeskey said.

"It's good for the environment, for the trees and the animals," said Hector Contreras of Indio.

The rain is liquid gold for our parched valley but we would need many more days like Friday to begin replenishing the aquifer without relying on the Colorado River. 

"The rain we have today doesn't really go in more than an inch or two and evaporates when the sun comes out again," said Cameron Barrows, a research ecologist with U.C. Riverside in Palm Desert. "The days that have an impact on the aquifer are when we have flooding."

Where it does make a difference is in local water conservation efforts, which have been ramped up in recent months as a response to the historic drought.

"We shouldn't be watering our lawns, so if we're smart about water use, our water use today should have been less," Barrows said.