Katherine and Tindal sweltered through a record equalling hot 2020 despite La Nina, which was supposed to bring cooler temperatures.
The Bureau of Meteorology released its 2020 climate report on Friday which shows Katherine and surrounding areas also saw below average rainfall in 2020.
The average daytime maximum temperature at RAAF Base Tindal last year was 35.6, equalling the record set there in 2019.
"It was sort of at the extreme end," BOM climatologist Greg Browning said.
"Really in a La Nina year you wouldn't expect it to be quite as warm."
Meanwhile 811.8mm of rain was recorded at the same station in 2020, below the 1066mm yearly average but a significant improvement on 2019 which saw just 602.2mm.
He said the hot and dry year was mainly due to the poor wet season at the start of 2020 and ongoing climate change.
However the effects of La Nina were felt by the end of the year, as nearly 420mm of rain was recorded at RAAF Base Tindal in October, November and December, nearly 124% higher than the 337mm average.
September also saw higher than average rain.
La Nina was declared late in 2020 and was expected to bring cooler temperatures and heavy rainfall to large parts of Australia including Katherine during the ongoing wet season.
Mr Browning said La Nina is expected to deliver even more above average rainfalls in the current wet season.
"The latest outlooks are suggesting a good chance of above average rainfall extending through the remainder of the wet season," he said.
"Hopefully these first three months haven't been an aberration ... the La Nina is expected to be effective for probably the next couple of months."
This stands in contrast to the previous two wet seasons in Katherine, with the 2019/20 wet being the worst in decades.
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