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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

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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, 2016

Precipitation

March 2016 Indiana precipitation was generally above normal across most of the state, with temperature on the whole also above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was about 137 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 47.1 degrees Fahrenheit or 6.4 degrees above normal.

Each of Indiana's nine climate divisions received above normal precipitation for the month of March. The east-central climate division received the highest (178.9) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the southeastern division received the lowest (115.2) percentage.

For the year to date, seven of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 89.9 percent for the west-central climate division to 124.5 percent for the east-central division. For the 2016 water year, which began October 1, 2015, total precipitation is above normal for seven of the nine climate divisions (94.4 to 121.9%). Starting from January 2015, each of the state's nine climate divisions has received above normal precipitation. Those ranges are from 101.7 percent for the west-central division to 118.7 percent for the south-central division.

For the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month index, four of Indiana's nine climate divisions are in the "very wet" category. The north-central, central, southwestern, and southeastern divisions are in the "moderately wet" range, while the west-central division is in the "near normal" category. The 6-month index shows the south-central climate division in the "moderately wet" range, with the rest of the state in the "near normal' category. For the 3-month index, each of the nine climate divisions are in the "near normal" range. The 1-month index shows the east-central climate division in the "moderately wet" category. The rest of the divisions lie in the "near normal" range.

U. S. Drought Monitor

The period ending March 29, 2016 showed no drought conditions in Indiana.

Streamflow

Mean monthly flows for 3 of the 12 monitored streams were below their historical mean monthly flow for the month of March. The Eel River at North Manchester had the lowest mean monthly flow with 67 percent of the historical mean flow for the month. The Whitewater River near Alpine had the highest mean monthly flow with 155 percent of the historical mean flow for the month.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The lake Michigan-Huron water level for March was three inches above last month's water level, and six inches above the March 2015 water level. Comparison of March monthly mean water levels to long-term (1918-present) averages shows that Michigan-Huron water levels were about thirteen inches above average. On March 30, 2016, the Michigan-Huron water level was 579.66 feet. The water level was about 41 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 two 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 was above its normal pool elevation on March 31, 2016. The normal pool deviation ranged from -1.7 feet (Cecil Harden) to 8.9 feet (Salamonie).

Each of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water-Morse, Geist, and Eagle Creek- was above its normal pool elevation as of March 31, 2016. The reservoirs' deviation from their normal pools ranged from 0.40 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.55 feet (Morse).

Ground Water Levels

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

Temperature data:
Indiana State Climate Office, Purdue University