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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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Dept. of Natural Resources

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

December, 2017


December 2016 Indiana precipitation was generally below to near normal, with temperature on the whole above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was about 75 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 29.8 degrees Fahrenheit or about 1.4 degrees below normal.

Seven of Indiana's nine climate divisions received well below or below normal precipitation for the month of December. The south-central climate division received the highest (101.1) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the west-central division received the lowest (51.0) percentage.

For the year to date, five of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 94.9 percent for the north-central climate division to 112.0 percent for the northwestern division. For the 2017 water year, which began October 1, 2016, total precipitation is below normal for all of the nine climate divisions (62.6 to 90.2%). Starting from January 2015, each of the state's nine climate divisions has received above normal precipitation. These range from 100.8 percent for the north-central division to 113.9 percent for the south-central division.

For the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month index, one of Indiana's nine climate divisions is in the "moderately wet" category, and the remaining eight divisions are in the "near normal" category. The 6-month index shows one of the state's nine climate divisions in the "very wet" category and the remaining six divisions lie in the "near normal" category. The 3-month index and the 1-month index show the entire state in the "near normal" category.

U. S. Drought Monitor

The period ending December 27, 2016 shows three bands located in the south-central, east-central and north-central parts of the state experiencing "abnormally dry" conditions. No drought conditions were reported for approximately 75 percent of the state. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook does not predict drought conditions through March 31, 2017.


Mean monthly flows for two of the twelve monitored streams were well above their historical mean monthly flow for the month of December, and the remaining streams were well below normal. The St Marys at Decatur had the lowest mean monthly flow at 46 percent. The Kankakee River at Shelby had the highest mean monthly flow at 159 percent.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The Lake Michigan-Huron water level for December 30, 2016 was two inches below last month's water level, and four inches below the December 30, 2015 water level. Comparison of December monthly mean water levels to long-term (1918-present) averages shows that Michigan-Huron water levels were about six inches above average. On December 31, 2016, the Michigan-Huron water level was 578.98 feet. The water level was approximately 34 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 fall one inch over the next month.


The water levels in seven of the eight Indiana reservoirs being monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was above its normal pool elevation on December 30, 2016. The normal pool deviation ranged from -0.3 feet (Patoka) to 5.7 feet (Salamonie).

Two of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water, Morse and Geist, were above their respective normal pool elevations as of December 30, 2016. Eagle Creek Reservoir was below normal pool elevation. The deviation from normal pools ranged from -0.77 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.33 feet (Morse).

Ground Water Levels

As of December 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 Randolph 3, Harrison 8, LaPorte 9, and Clark 20; near normal for Vigo 7; and below normal for LaGrange 2, Posey 3, Morgan 4, and Fulton 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:

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)

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