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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

January, 2016

Precipitation

January 2016 Indiana precipitation was generally below normal across most of the state, with temperature on the whole above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was about 53 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 27.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 1.5 degrees above normal.

None of Indiana’s nine climate divisions received above normal precipitation for the month of January. The north-central climate division received the highest (61.7) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the west-central division received the lowest (43.8) percentage.

For the 2016 water year, which began October 1, 2015, total precipitation is above normal for four of the nine climate divisions (82.8 to 116.9%). Starting from January 2015, each of the state’s climate divisions has received above normal precipitation. Those ranges are from 100.6 percent for the west-central division to 116.8 percent for the south-central division.

For the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month index, seven of Indiana’s nine climate divisions are in the “moderately wet” category. The north-central and west-central divisions are in the “near normal” range. The 6-month index shows each of the nine climate divisions in the “near normal” category. For the 3-month index, the northwestern and west-central climate divisions lie in the “moderately wet” range. The remaining divisions are in the “near normal” category. The 1-month index shows eight of the nine climate divisions in the “near normal” range.  The southwestern division lies in the “moderately dry” category.

U. S. Drought Monitor

The period ending February 2, 2016 showed no drought conditions in Indiana. 

Streamflow

Mean monthly flows for 5 of the 12 monitored streams were below their historical mean monthly flow for the month of January. The Muscatatuck River near Deputy had the lowest mean monthly flow with 41 percent of the historical mean flow for the month. The Kankakee River at Shelby had the highest mean monthly flow with 158 percent of the historical mean flow for the month.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The Lake Michigan-Huron water level for January was two inches below last month’s water level, and 2 inches above the January 2015 water level. Comparison of January monthly mean water levels to long-term (1918-present) averages shows that Michigan-Huron water levels were about ten inches above average. On January 28, 2016, the Michigan-Huron water level was 579.27 feet. The water level was about 39 inches above the previously lowest recorded monthly mean level for January, set in 2013.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts the lake Michigan-Huron water level to decrease one inch 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 above its normal pool elevation on January 31, 2016. The normal pool deviation ranged from 0.1 feet (Brookville and Cecil Harden) to 5.7 feet (J.E. Roush).

One of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water-Morse, Geist, and Eagle Creek- was below its normal pool elevation as of January 29, 2016. The reservoirs’ deviation from their normal pools ranged from -1.18 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.20 feet (Morse).

Ground Water Levels

As of February 1, 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 LaPorte 9, Vigo 7, Posey 3, and Harrison 8; near normal for Morgan 4, Randolph 3, and Clark 20; and below normal for Fulton 7 and LaGrange 2. Groundwater levels are expected to increase through February 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