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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, 2014

Precipitation
March 2014 in Indiana was a cold and dry month. The statewide monthly precipitation average was about 63 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 34.2 degrees Fahrenheit or 6.5 degrees below normal.

Each of Indiana’s nine climate divisions received below normal precipitation for the month of March. The southeastern climate division received the highest (87.6) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the west-central division received the lowest (46.5) percentage.

For the year to date, eight of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 97.1 percent for the southeastern climate division to 127.3 percent for the southwestern division. For the 2014 water year starting October 1, 2013, total precipitation is above normal for each of Indiana’s nine climate divisions (100.5 to 138.8%). Starting from January 2013, each of the state’s climate divisions has received above normal precipitation. Those ranges are from 105.3 percent for the northeastern division to 123.4 percent for the southwestern 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 north-central and southwestern divisions lie in the “moderately wet” range. For the 6-month index, the central and southwestern climate divisions are in the “moderately wet” category while the remaining divisions are in the “near normal range.” The 3-month index shows the entire state as “near normal.” For the 1-month index, the three northern and the west-central climate divisions lie in the “moderately dry” category.  The other five divisions are in the “near normal” range.

U. S. Drought Monitor
The period ending April 1, 2014 showed no drought conditions for Indiana.

Streamflow
Mean monthly flow for 10 of the 12 monitored streams were below or well below their historical mean monthly flow for the month of March. The Muscatatuck River near Deputy had the lowest mean monthly flow with 38 percent of the historical mean flow for the month. The Eel River at North Manchester had the highest mean monthly flow with 161 percent of the historical mean flow for the month.

Lake Michigan
The lake Michigan-Huron water level for March was the same as last month’s water level, but had risen 13 inches above the March 2013 water level. Comparison of March monthly mean water levels to long-term (1918-present) averages shows that Michigan-Huron water levels were about 13 inches below average. On March 31, 2014, the Michigan-Huron water level was 577.32 feet. The water level was about 15 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 seven of the eight Indiana reservoirs being monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were above their normal pool elevation on March 31. The normal pool deviation ranged from -0.4 feet (Brookville) to 6.5 feet (Mississinewa).

Two of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water-Morse, Geist, and Eagle Creek- were above normal pool elevations as of March 31, 2014. The reservoirs’ deviation from their normal pools ranged from -0.58 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.30 feet (Morse).

Ground Water Levels
As of April 1, 2014, recent water level data are available for all of the nine wells being monitored. The water level for the observation wells is above normal for LaPorte 9, Vigo 7, and Harrison 8; near normal for Morgan 4 and Posey 3; and below normal for Fulton 7, LaGrange 2, and Randolph 3. Clark 20 is a new observation well with no established mean monthly water level. 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