When the match should have been re-starting, the pitch and square remained fully covered.
But the skies above Lord's were starting to lighten and the rain easing, raising hopes that, with the 'home of cricket' boasting a modern drainage system that sees the outfield dry quickly, there could yet be some play before the lunch break.
Although five sessions in this match have been washed out completely, including all of Wednesday's first day, a win for either side is still possible.
England are currently 96-4 in their second innings, a lead of 104 runs, with all-rounder Ben Stokes 16 not out after being dropped twice and Jos Buttler 10 not out.
Saturday saw Australia's Steve Smith top score with 92 in a total of 250 that gave England a slender first-innings lead of eight runs after being hit on the neck by a fearsome bouncer from Test debutant Jofra Archer in a compelling passage of play that saw the World Cup-winning quick regularly top speeds of 92 mph.
Smith retired hurt on 80 but resumed his innings as soon as possible at the fall of the next wicket.
Having being allowed to resume his innings after being cleared of concussion, star batsman Smith was due to have further tests for any delayed effects to determine whether he would be fit to field on Sunday.
Australia, bidding for their first Ashes campaign triumph on English soil in 18 years, lead this five-match series 1-0 after a 251-run win at Edgbaston last week.
That match saw former captain Smith mark his first Test since completing a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa with superb innings of 144 and 142.