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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

March, 2015

Precipitation

March 2015 Indiana precipitation was generally below normal across the northern half of the state, with the southern half above normal. Temperature on the whole was below normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was about 103 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 36.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 4.3 degrees below normal.

Five of Indiana’s nine climate divisions received above normal precipitation for the month of March. The southeastern climate division received the highest (160.6) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the northwestern division received the lowest (38.5) percentage.

For the year to date, three of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 84.4 percent for the north-central climate division to 121.5 percent for the southeastern division. For the 2015 water year, which began October 1, 2014, total precipitation is below normal for six of the nine climate divisions (91.2 to 103.9%). Starting from January 2014, eight of the state’s climate divisions have received above normal precipitation. Those ranges are from 99.0 percent for the central division to 114.9 percent for the northwestern division.

For the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month index, seven of Indiana’s nine climate divisions are in the “near normal” category. The northwestern and the south-central divisions are in the “moderately wet” range. The 6-month index shows each of the nine climate divisions in the “near normal” category. Likewise for the 3-month index, the entire state is in the “near normal” range. The 1-month index shows the northwestern climate division in the “severely dry” category and the north-central division in the “moderately dry” range. The rest of the divisions are in the “near normal” category.

U. S. Drought Monitor
The period ending March 31, 2015 showed portions of northeastern Indiana as abnormally dry. About 99 percent of Indiana showed no drought conditions.

Streamflow
Mean monthly flows for three of the 12 monitored streams were below their historical mean monthly flow for the month of March. Sugar Creek at Crawfordsville had the lowest mean monthly flow with 91 percent of the historical mean flow for the month. The Muscatatuck River near Deputy had the highest mean monthly flow with 227 percent of the historical mean flow for the month.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The lake Michigan-Huron water level for March was the same as last month’s water level, and 20 inches above the March 2014 water level. Comparison of March monthly mean water levels to long-term (1918-present) averages shows that Michigan-Huron water levels were about seven inches above average. On March 31, 2015, the Michigan-Huron water level was 579.02 feet. The water level was about 35 inches above the previously lowest recorded monthly mean level for March, set in 1964.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts the lake Michigan-Huron water level to increase four 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 April 1, 2015. The normal pool deviation ranged from 0.0 feet (Brookville) to 10.2 feet (Cagles Mill).

One of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water-Morse, Geist, and Eagle Creek- was below its normal pool elevation as of April 1, 2015. The reservoirs’ deviation from their normal pools ranged from -0.44 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.31 feet (Morse).

Ground Water Levels
As of April 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 Fulton 7, LaGrange 2, and Morgan 4; and near or above normal for LaPorte 9, Vigo 7, Randolph 3, Posey 3, Harrison 8, and Clark 20. On March 16, Clark 20 set a new record high. Groundwater levels are expected to increase through April 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