The new year made a big splash across the Hunter coast, and the wet weather is forecast to continue for at least another week.
Last month was the wettest December recorded at the Williamtown weather station since 2002 after 156 millimetres of rain fell, compared with less than one millimetre during the bushfire nightmare of December 2019.
Williamtown had 466 millimetres of rain in the last three months of 2020, making it easily the wettest final quarter of any year on record.
October rainfall of 252 millimetres was the most on record for that month.
Last year also boasted the wettest July on the record books, which stretch back to 1942.
Annual rainfall of 1361 millimetres at Williamtown was the highest since 2008.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts a 60 per cent chance of showers in Newcastle until at least Thursday as the La Nina weather pattern delivers a wet summer across the east coast.
The rain put a dampener on City of Newcastle's New Year's Day pool parties at Mayfield, Stockton, Beresfield and Lambton on Friday.
Food truck operators abandoned the festivities at Mayfield before they had started as the rain kept the crowds away and turned the pool surrounds to mush.
The temperature struggled to rise beyond 20 degrees across most of the Hunter.
Williamtown registered 16 millimetres of rain from 9am to 3pm.
Grahamstown Dam, the region's main water store, was at 93 per cent capacity on Friday and Chichester Dam was full.
The bureau forecasts that January to March rainfall is likely to be above average across much of the country, particularly in the eastern states.
It says La Nina is likely nearing its peak and modelling suggests a return to neutral conditions by the end of autumn.
Warmer sea-surface temperatures around much of Australia are likely to persist through summer.
Saturday's top temperature in Newcastle is forecast to be 24, with rainfall between four and 10 millimetres.
Towns in the Upper Hunter recorded up to two millimetres of rain on Friday.