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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, 2015

Precipitation

May 2015 Indiana precipitation was generally below normal across portions of central and the southern one-third of the state, with the rest of Indiana above normal. Temperature on the whole was above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was about 86 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 2.0 degrees above normal.

Four of Indiana’s nine climate divisions received above normal precipitation for the month of May. The northwestern climate division received the highest (139.5) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the southeastern division received the lowest (44.1) percentage.

For the year to date, two of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 82.2 percent for the northeastern and west-central climate divisions to 110.6 percent for the southwestern division. For the 2015 water year, which began October 1, 2014, total precipitation is below normal for seven of the nine climate divisions (83.0 to 107.7%). Starting from January 2014, one of the state’s climate divisions has received above normal precipitation. Those ranges are from 89.5 percent for the northeastern division to 106.3 percent for the northwestern division.

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

U. S. Drought Monitor
The period ending May 26, 2015 showed portions of northern and southern Indiana as abnormally dry. About 67 percent of Indiana showed no drought conditions.

Streamflow
Mean monthly flows for each of the 12 monitored streams were below or well below their historical mean monthly flow for the month of May. The Muscatatuck River near Deputy had the lowest mean monthly flow with 12 percent of the historical mean flow for the month. The Kankakee River at Shelby had the highest mean monthly flow with 83 percent of the historical mean flow for the month.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The lake Michigan-Huron water level for May was two inches above last month’s water level, and 11 inches above the May 2014 water level. Comparison of May monthly mean water levels to long-term (1918-present) averages shows that Michigan-Huron water levels were about six inches above average. On May 31, 2015, the Michigan-Huron water level was 579.51 feet. The water level was about 35 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 30, 2015. The normal pool deviation ranged from -0.1 feet (Cagles Mill) to 4.6 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 29, 2015. The reservoirs’ deviation from their normal pools ranged from 0.14 feet (Geist) to 1.03 feet (Eagle Creek).

Ground Water Levels

As of May 31, 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, Morgan 4, Posey 3, and Harrison 8; and near or above normal for LaPorte 9, Vigo 7, Randolph 3, and Clark 20. 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 

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