While torrential rain continues to lash North Queensland, a developing heatwave in the NT - moving across from WA - will mainly impact central Australia.
But forecasters are predicting temperatures of up to 40C in Katherine from Saturday - around 6C above the January average.
Katherine hit 38C today, but can expect a cool-ish reprieve with the chance of storms rolling in this afternoon.
Senior meteorologist Rebecca Patrick, from the Bureau of Meteorology has flagged a "medium to high chance of storms" on Thursday as an increase in humidity - caused by moisture from Queensland - moves into the NT.
"The humid easterly winds from North Queensland heat up later in the day, leading to an increased chance of afternoon rain," she said.
"This will ease off over the coming days. The decreased chance of rain will also see an increase in temperatures heading into the weekend."
Australia recorded its fourth-warmest year on record in 2020, with the nation's area-averaged mean temperature for the year 1.15C above the 1961-1990 average.
In the Northern Territory, 2020 was the fifth-warmest year on record.
Forecasters at the BOM say conditions over the weekend might feel "more like a typical build-up day in October or November", as the temperature climbs to 40C on Saturday.
"Afternoons are likely to feel drier due to a lower dew point and the mid-level ridge," Patrick said.
"At this stage it's possible that Katherine may see a medium chance of rain and temperatures dropping back in line with January averages next week depending on how the weather develops across the Top End and is impacted by systems in WA and Queensland."
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