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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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

May, 2017

Precipitation

For May 2017, Indiana’s precipitation was generally well above normal or above normal, with average temperature near normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was approximately 142.9 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 61.3 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.1 degrees below normal.

All nine of Indiana’s climate divisions received above or well above normal precipitation for the month of May. The northeastern climate division received the highest (196.7) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the southwestern received the lowest (105.7) percentage.

For the year to date, all nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 100.9 percent of normal for the southwestern climate division to 158.6 percent of normal for the northeastern climate division.  For the 2017 water year, which began October 1, 2016, total precipitation is above normal for seven of the nine climate divisions (87.7% to 132.5% percent of normal). Beginning January 2016, all climate divisions have received above normal precipitation. These range from 102.2 percent for the southwestern division to 118.0 percent for the northwestern division.

The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month index shows the northwestern climate division in the “extremely wet” category; the north-central, northeastern, and east-central climate divisions are in the “very wet” category; the west-central and southeastern climate divisions are in the “moderately wet” category; and the remaining climate divisions are in the “near normal” category. The 6-month SPI index shows the northeastern climate division in the “extremely wet” category; the northwestern, north-central, central, east-central, and southeastern climate divisions are shown in the “moderately wet” category; and the remaining climate divisions are in the “near normal” category.  The 3-month SPI index shows the northeastern climate division in the “extremely wet” category; the central and east-central climate divisions are in the “very wet” category; the northwestern, north-central, west-central, and southeastern climate divisions are in the “moderately wet” category; and the two remaining climate divisions are in the “near normal” category. The 1-month SPI index shows the northeastern climate division in the “extremely wet” category; the central and east-central climate divisions are in the “very wet” category;  the north-central, west-central, south-central, and southeastern climate divisions are in the “moderately wet” category; and the two remaining climate divisions are shown in the “near normal” category.

U. S. Drought Monitor

For the period ending May 30, 2017, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows no drought conditions for the State of Indiana. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook predicts no drought conditions through August 31, 2017. 

Streamflow

Of the twelve streams included in drought reporting since 1999, all twelve had stream flow well above normal.  The Kankakee River at Shelby had the lowest mean monthly flow at 145% and the St. Marys River at Decatur had the highest mean monthly flow at 549%.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The Lake Michigan-Huron water level for May 26, 2017 was the same as the measurement taken on May 26, 2016, and 5 inches above the measurement taken on April 26, 2017.  On May 31, 2017 the Michigan-Huron level was 580.22 feet, which is approximately 44 inches above the lowest recorded monthly mean level for May set in 1964. Comparison of May monthly mean water levels to the long-term (1918-present) average shows Lakes Michigan-Huron water levels were about 13 inches above the average.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts the Lake Michigan-Huron water level to rise by as much as 2 inches over the next month. 

Reservoirs

The water level in all eight Indiana reservoirs being monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was above their normal pool elevations on May 31, 2017. The normal pool deviation ranged from 2.2 feet (Brookeville) to 27.1 feet (J.E. Roush).

All three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water were above their respective normal pool elevations as of May 31, 2017.  The deviation from normal pools ranged from 0.32 feet (Morse) to 0.89 feet (Eagle Creek).

Groundwater Levels

As of June 1, 2017, recent water level data are available for each of the nine monitored wells. Data for Randolph 3 is current as of May 31, 2017. The mean monthly groundwater level is below normal for LaGrange 2; above normal for La Porte 9, Fulton 7, Vigo 7, Morgan 4, Randolph 3, Posey 3, and Harrison 8; and near normal for Clark 20.  

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

Standardized 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

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

Temperature data:
Midwestern Regional Climate Center and Indiana State Climate Office, Purdue University