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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

February, 2015

Precipitation
February 2015 Indiana precipitation was generally below normal across most of the state, with temperature on the whole considerably below normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was about 66 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 18.7 degrees Fahrenheit or 11.8 degrees below normal.

None of Indiana’s nine climate divisions received above normal precipitation for the month of February. The north-central climate division received the highest (85.5) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the central division received the lowest (47.4) percentage.

For the year to date, none of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 64.4 percent for the central climate division to 84.3 percent for the west-central division. For the 2015 water year, which began October 1, 2014, total precipitation is below normal for each of the nine climate divisions (76.6 to 95.2%). Starting from January 2014, four of the state’s climate divisions have received above normal precipitation. Those ranges are from 97.1 percent for the central division to 113.5 percent for the northwestern division.

For the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month index, eight of Indiana’s nine climate divisions are in the “near normal” category. The northwestern division is in the “moderately wet” range. The 6-month index shows each of the nine climate divisions in the “near normal” category. For the 3-month index, the entire state is in the “near normal” range. Likewise for the 1-month index, all nine of the state’s climate divisions lie within the “near normal” category.

U. S. Drought Monitor
The period ending February 24, 2015 showed portions of southernmost Indiana as abnormally dry, with small segments of southern Clark, Floyd, and Harrison counties in moderate drought. About 96 percent of Indiana showed no drought conditions.

Streamflow
Mean monthly flows for each of the 12 monitored streams were below their historical mean monthly flow for the month of February. The Muscatatuck River near Deputy had the lowest mean monthly flow with 23 percent of the historical mean flow for the month. The Kankakee River at Shelby had the highest mean monthly flow with 88 percent of the historical mean flow for the month.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The lake Michigan-Huron water level for February was one inch below last month’s water level, and 21 inches above the February 2014 water level. Comparison of February monthly mean water levels to long-term (1918-present) averages shows that Michigan-Huron water levels were about eight inches above average. On February 28, 2015, the Michigan-Huron water level was 579.04 feet. The water level was about 35 inches above the previously lowest recorded monthly mean level for February, set in 1964.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts the lake Michigan-Huron water level to increase 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 at or above its normal pool elevation on February 27, 2015. The normal pool deviation ranged from 0.0 feet (Brookville) to 0.6 feet (J.E. Roush).

One of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water-Morse, Geist, and Eagle Creek- was below its normal pool elevation as of February 27, 2015. The reservoirs’ deviation from their normal pools ranged from -0.71 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.16 feet (Morse).

Ground Water Levels
As of March 1, 2015, recent water level data are available for each of the nine wells being monitored. The water level for the observation wells is below normal for LaPorte 9, Fulton 7, LaGrange 2, Morgan 4, Randolph 3, Posey 3, Harrison 8, and Clark 20; and above normal for Vigo 7. Groundwater levels are expected to increase through March 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 

Palmer Drought Severity Index:
U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service

Temperature data:
Indiana State Climate Office, Purdue University