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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Water > Water Availability / Use / Rights > Water Resource Updates (updated monthly) > Monthly Water Resource Summary Monthly Water Resource Summary

August, 2016

Precipitation

August 2016 Indiana precipitation was above normal to much above normal across the state, with temperature on the whole above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was about 181 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 76.0 degrees Fahrenheit or about 3.8 degrees above normal.

Each of Indiana’s nine climate divisions received above normal precipitation for the month of August. The northwestern climate division received the highest (246.7) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the northeastern division received the lowest (126.9) percentage.

For the year to date, seven of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 94.4 percent for the northeastern climate division to 120.1 percent for the southwestern and south-central divisions. For the 2016 water year, which began October 1, 2015, total precipitation is above normal for seven of the nine climate divisions (93.3 to 123.7%). Starting from January 2015, each of the state’s nine climate divisions has received above normal precipitation. Those ranges are from 103.5 percent for the north-central division to 120.6 percent for the south-central division.

For the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month index, five of Indiana’s nine climate divisions are in the “near normal” category. The southern climate divisions are in the “moderately wet” range, while the northwestern division lies in the “very wet” category. Similarly, the 6-month index shows eight of the state’s nine climate divisions split amongst the “near normal” and “moderately wet” ranges. The northwestern division is in the “very wet” category. The 3-month index shows four of the state’s nine climate divisions in the “very wet” range. The west-central division is in the “moderately wet” category, the north-central, northeastern, and east-central divisions are in the “near normal” range, and the northwestern division is in the “extremely wet” category. For the 1-month index, four of the nine climate divisions lie in the “very wet” range. The northeastern, west-central, and south-central climate divisions are in the “moderately wet” category, whereas the northwestern and central divisions lie in the “extremely wet” range.

U. S. Drought Monitor

The period ending August 30, 2016 showed abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions for portions of north-central and northeastern Indiana.  No drought conditions were reported for approximately 94 percent of the state. 

Streamflow

Mean monthly flows for 3 of the 12 monitored streams were below their historical mean monthly flow for the month of August. The St. Marys River at Decatur had the lowest mean monthly flow with 61 percent of the historical mean flow for the month. The East Fork White River at Shoals had the highest mean monthly flow with 354 percent of the historical mean flow for the month.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The lake Michigan-Huron water level for August was the same as last month’s water level, and five inches above the August 2015 water level. Comparison of August monthly mean water levels to long-term (1918-present) averages shows that Michigan-Huron water levels were about eleven inches above average. On August 29, 2016, the Michigan-Huron water level was 580.12 feet. The water level was about 42 inches above the previously lowest recorded monthly mean level for August, set in 1964.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts the lake Michigan-Huron water level to fall two inches over the next month. 

Reservoirs

The water levels in each of the eight Indiana reservoirs being monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was above its normal pool elevation on August 31, 2016. The normal pool deviation ranged from 0.1 feet (Cecil Harden) to 3.4 feet (Monroe).

Each of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water-Morse, Geist, and Eagle Creek- was above its normal pool elevation as of August 31, 2016. The reservoirs’ deviation from their normal pools ranged from 0.07 feet (Morse) to 1.45 feet (Eagle Creek).

Ground Water Levels

As of August 31, 2016, recent water level data are available for each of the nine wells being monitored. The water level for the observation wells is above normal for LaPorte 9, Vigo 7, Randolph 3, Posey 3, and Harrison 8; near normal for Clark 20; and below normal for Fulton 7 (new record low), LaGrange 2, and Morgan 4. Groundwater levels are expected to decrease through September for much of the state.

Real-time data are available for all nine observation wells. The real-time information may be accessed on the following U.S. Geological Survey website: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/current/?type=gw

Acknowledgments
This report has been compiled from Division of Water data and from information supplied by the following:

Precipitation data:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, Midwestern Regional Climate Center

Standard Precipitation Index (SPI):
National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) and Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC)

Streamflow:
U.S. Geological Survey and State of Indiana cooperative program

Lake Michigan level data:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

Reservoir data:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District

Ground water level data:
U.S. Geological Survey and State of Indiana cooperative program

Temperature data:
Indiana State Climate Office, Purdue University