David Ripley's men are chasing a win that would keep them in the hunt to win a place to compete for the County Championship in September's play-offs.
The first day went completely to plan as Northants racked up 362 for five, but heavy rain overnight and into Friday ensured no play was possible on day two.
That means the County now have just two days to try and claim the victory that would see them keep the pressure on second-placed Yorkshire.
Rain had been forecast, but it was far heavier than had been expected, and with the Canterbury outfield covered in puddles and no prospect of an improvement the umpires decided to call stumps at 3.35 pm.
When, or if, play resumes on Saturday, Saif Zaib is 17 not out while Tom Taylor is unbeaten on 19.
Yorskhire did manage to play against Sussex at Headlingley, and just after tea on day two they were 167 for two in reply to Sussex's first innings of 313 all out.
Leaders Lancashire are involved in a tight-looking clash against Glamorgan in Cardiff.
Just after tea on day two, the Welsh county were 34 without loss chasing 189 to win after bowling Lancashire out twice, for 173 and 164.
Glamorgan were dismissed for 150 in their first innings in a match that is hurtling towards a positive conclusion.