A veteran Katherine resident says it is not yet time to worry about the abysmal lack of rain this wet season.
"Won't be a problem," he said, "we will be worrying about floods next year."
Ross Christie, an 81-year-old retiree who moved to Katherine at just 16 years old to work with his uncle on his peanut farm, has recorded 611mm of rain in his garden gauge this wet season.
He hasn't mustered the energy to plant his vegetable garden yet because the ground is too hard.
"Red hot from the sun baking it," he said.
"It is too hot, we should be in the low 30s as we are usually getting the monsoonal rain keeping the weather cool."
Over the years he has accumulated local rainfall records dating back to 1873.
According to his research, the Katherine region is in its eighth driest wet season since those records began.
But this is far from our worst year.
In 1951, there was just 365mm recorded.
He says it is just a natural cycle.
"We have wet years and we have dry years," Mr Christie said, "it will have little impact."
"This one might be a little drier than normal, but the aquifers will be fine.
"The flow of the river could drop a little or stop, but the plants and the animals should be okay in water holes.
"Farmers will be pumping their bores and they might need to dig deeper.
"We have had two thirds of our annual rainfall, there will be a shortage of water, but it won't be a problem."
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The retiree, who now spends his days pottering in the garden, has always kept a keen eye on the weather.
Working for almost 50 years building roads across the NT with what was then known as the Commonwealth Department of Works, now the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Mr Christie would provide weather updates to the office over the radio on a daily basis.
The work commitment morphed into a serious hobby when he finally decided to leave work for good. He said it was almost a requirement to know about the weather when he meets people.
"Everyone loves talking about the weather."
"Right now people are talking about the lack of rain, it is one of the drier years we have had."
And while he tells people not to worry, he admits there will be some significant impacts.
"It will be a tough year in the NT. There won't be a lot of spending," Mr Christie said.
"Farmers will be reigning in their spending, impacting the whole area down to Alice Springs," he said.
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And if we don't get the 400mms to average out the season, there might not be enough grass to feed stock and the river could even stop flowing.
But it is nothing we have not seen before.
Before the 2006 flood hit Katherine there was a two month dry spell.
"From 1873 - 1910 the rainfall was just on 1000mm," he said.
"1910 - 1970 rainfall dropped to the 900mm area.
"And when I first came up, old timers said the average was about 850mm. From 1970 to now we are averaging 1100mm.
"We had a good run last year with rainfall at around 1150mm.
"It is always up and down. We might get two to three good years and then a bad year."
The retiree said he foresees the town remaining on strict water restrictions this year due to the PFAS treatment plant's limited ability to clean enough water for the town.
Just like last year, residents will not be able to "pour" water on their gardens, and grass strips will be left to die.
Mr Christie said he is hoping for that much needed 400mm of rain over the next couple of weeks, to soften the ground for his veggie patch, and because he just loves the storms in the Top End, but we shouldn't hold our breath.
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