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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

December, 2014

Precipitation

December 2014 Indiana precipitation was generally below normal across most of the state, with temperature on the whole above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was about 80 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 34.2 degrees Fahrenheit or 3.0 degrees above normal.

Three of Indiana’s nine climate divisions received above normal precipitation for the month of December. The southeastern climate division received the highest (110.2) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the northwestern division received the lowest (50.7) percentage.

For the year to date, each of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 103.4 percent for the southeastern climate division to 119.7 percent for the northwestern division. For the 2015 water year, which began October 1, 2014, total precipitation is above normal for three of the nine climate divisions (90.5 to 109.9%). Starting from January 2013, each of the state’s climate divisions has received above normal precipitation. Those ranges are from 105.4 percent for the southeastern division to 114.2 percent for the southwestern 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 “very 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 December 30, 2014 showed no drought conditions for Indiana.

Streamflow
Mean monthly flows for three of the 12 monitored streams were below their historical mean monthly flow for the month of December. The Eel River at North Manchester had the lowest mean monthly flow with 69 percent of the historical mean flow for the month. The East Fork White River at Shoals had the highest mean monthly flow with 148 percent of the historical mean flow for the month.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The lake Michigan-Huron water level for December was the same as last month’s water level, and 24 inches above the December 2013 water level. Comparison of December monthly mean water levels to long-term (1918-present) averages shows that Michigan-Huron water levels were about eight inches above average. On December 31, 2014, the Michigan-Huron water level was 579.22 feet. The water level was about 37 inches above the previously lowest recorded monthly mean level for December, set in 2012.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts the lake Michigan-Huron water level to decrease one inch 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 near its normal pool elevation on January 1, 2015. The normal pool deviation ranged from 0.0 feet (Monroe) to 0.9 feet (Patoka).

One of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water-Morse, Geist, and Eagle Creek- was below its normal pool elevation as of December 31, 2014. The reservoirs’ deviation from their normal pools ranged from -0.76 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.30 feet (Morse).

Ground Water Levels
As of December 31, 2014, 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, Fulton 7, Vigo 7, and Harrison 8; near normal for Randolph 3 and Posey 3; and below normal for LaGrange 2, Morgan 4, and Clark 20. Groundwater levels are expected to increase through January 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