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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

February, 2017

Precipitation

February 2017 Indiana precipitation was generally well below or below, with average temperature above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was approximately 62.2 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 41.0 degrees Fahrenheit or about 10.5 degrees above normal.

Eight of Indiana's nine climate divisions received well below or below normal precipitation for the month of February, and the remaining division received near normal precipitation. Climate Division 2 (NC) received the highest (107.0) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while Division 7 (SW) received the lowest (34.0) percentage.

For the year to date, seven of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 66.7 percent of normal for Division 7 (SW) to 148.1 percent of normal for Division 3 (NE).  For the 2017 water year, which began October 1, 2016, total precipitation is below normal for six of the nine climate divisions (65.2 to 108.3%) percent of normal. Beginning January 2016, each of the state's nine climate divisions has received near or above normal precipitation. These range from 98.6 percent for Division 7 (SW) to 113.4 percent for Division 1 (NW).

The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month index shows Climate Division 1 (NW) in the "very wet" category; Climate Division 2 (NC) in the "moderately wet" category with the remaining climate divisions in the "near normal" category. The 6-month SPI indices shows Climate Division 7 (SW) in the "moderately dry" category with the remaining climate divisions in the "near normal" category.  The 3-month SPI indices show all climate divisions in the "near normal" category.  The 1-month SPI indices show Climate Division 7 (SW) and Climate Division 8 (SC) in the "moderately dry" category with the remaining climate divisions in the "near normal" category.

U. S. Drought Monitor

For the period ending February 28, 2017, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows most of the southern half of the state experiencing "abnormally dry" conditions. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook does not predict drought conditions through May 31, 2017.

Streamflow

Of the twelve streams included in the drought reporting since 1999, eleven had stream flows well below to below normal for the month of February. The Muscatatuck River had the lowest mean monthly flow at 27 percent. Kankakee River at Shelby had the highest mean monthly flow at 128 percent.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The Lake Michigan-Huron water level for February 24, 2017 was one inch below the measurement taken on January 24, 2017, and four inches below the February 24, 2016 water level. On February 28, 2017, the Michigan-Huron water level was 579.07 feet. The water level was 36 inches above the previously lowest recorded mean level for February, set in 1964. Comparison of the February monthly mean water level to long-term (1918-present) average shows Lakes Michigan-Huron water levels were about eight inches above average.

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

Reservoirs

The water levels in all eight Indiana reservoirs being monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was above its normal pool elevation on February 28, 2017. The normal pool deviation ranged from 0.0 feet (Salamonie) to 0.6 feet (J.E. Roush).

Two of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water, Morse and Geist, were above their respective normal pool elevations as of February 28, 2017. Eagle Creek Reservoir was below normal pool elevation. The deviation from normal pools ranged from -1.31 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.20 feet (Morse).

Groundwater Levels

As of February 28, 2017, recent water level data are available for each of the nine wells being monitored. The mean monthly water levels for the observation wells are below normal for LaGrange 2, Randolph 3, Morgan 4, Fulton 7, Harrison 8, Clark 20 and Posey 3; near normal for LaPorte 9; and above normal for Vigo 7.

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