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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

May, 2016

Precipitation

May 2016 Indiana precipitation was generally below normal across most of the state, with temperature on the whole also below normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was about 72 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 61.0 degrees Fahrenheit or about one degree below normal.

Each of Indiana’s nine climate divisions received below normal precipitation for the month of May. The southwestern climate division received the highest (83.3) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the west-central division received the lowest (63.1) percentage.

For the year to date, two of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 85.8 percent for the north-central and west-central climate divisions to 107.6 percent for the south-central division. For the 2016 water year, which began October 1, 2015, total precipitation is above normal for four of the nine climate divisions (89.7 to 117.0%). Starting from January 2015, eight of the state’s nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation. Those ranges are from 98.7 percent for the west-central division to 116.9 percent for the south-central division.

For the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month index, two of Indiana's nine climate divisions, the west-central and central divisions, are in the "near normal" category. The northwestern and northeastern climate divisions are in the "very wet" range, while the north-central, east-central, southwestern, south-central, and southeastern divisions lie in the "moderately wet" category. The 6-month index shows each of the state's nine climate divisions in the “near normal” range. Likewise, the 3-month index shows the entire state in the "near normal" category. Similarly, for the 1-month index, each of the nine climate divisions are in the "near normal" range.

U. S. Drought Monitor

The period ending May 31, 2016 showed no drought conditions in Indiana.

Streamflow

Mean monthly flows for 7 of the 12 monitored streams were below their historical mean monthly flow for the month of May. The Whitewater River near Alpine had the lowest mean monthly flow with 80 percent of the historical mean flow for the month. The Eel River at North Manchester had the highest mean monthly flow with 156 percent of the historical mean flow for the month.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The lake Michigan-Huron water level for May was one inch above last month’s water level, and eight inches above the May 2015 water level. Comparison of May monthly mean water levels to long-term (1918-present) averages shows that Michigan-Huron water levels were about fourteen inches above average. On May 31, 2016, the Michigan-Huron water level was 580.15 feet. The water level was about 43 inches above the previously lowest recorded monthly mean level for May, 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 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 May 31, 2016. The normal pool deviation ranged from 0.0 feet (Cagles Mill) to 4.7 feet (Patoka).

Each of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water-Morse, Geist, and Eagle Creek- was above its normal pool elevation as of May 31, 2016. The reservoirs’ deviation from their normal pools ranged from 0.10 feet (Morse) to 0.91 feet (Eagle Creek).

Ground Water Levels

As of May 31, 2016, recent water level data are available for eight of the nine wells being monitored. The automatic water level recorder for Morgan 4 malfunctioned on May 29th. The water level for the observation wells is above normal for LaPorte 9, Vigo 7, and Harrison 8; near normal for Posey 3 and Clark 20; and below normal for Fulton 7, LaGrange 2, Morgan 4, and Randolph 3. Groundwater levels are expected to decrease through June 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