Monthly Water Resource Summary

December, 2018

Precipitation

For December 2018, Indiana’s precipitation was generally near or above normal, with average temperature above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was 101 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 35.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 4.3 degrees above normal.

For the month of December, four of the nine climate divisions received above normal precipitation. The northeastern climate division received the lowest (65.3) percentage of normal precipitation for the month; the southeastern climate division received the highest (141.3) percentage of normal precipitation for the month.

For the year to date, all nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 109.9 percent of normal for the northwestern climate division to 128.1 percent of normal for the southeastern climate division. For the 2019 water year, which began October 1, 2018, total precipitation is near or above normal for all nine climate divisions (98.3 to 113.2% percent of normal).  Beginning January 2017, all nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation. These range from 109.1 percent in the southwestern division to 122.7 percent in the southeastern division.

The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month indices shows the southeastern climate division in the “extremely wet” category; the northwestern and northeastern climate divisions in the “moderately wet” category; and all remaining climate divisions in the “very wet” category.

The SPI 6-month indices shows the east-central and southeastern climate divisions in the “very wet” category; the north-central, west-central, central, and south-central climate divisions in the “moderately wet” category; and the northwestern, northeastern, and southwestern climate divisions in the “near normal” category. The SPI 3-month indices shows all climate divisions in the “near normal” category. The 1-month indices shows the southeastern climate division in the “moderately wet” category, and the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category. 

U. S. Drought Monitor

For December 25, 2018, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows Indiana is not experiencing any drought conditions. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook predicts no drought conditions for the state through the end of March 2019.

Streamflow

In December 2018, each of the twelve streams included in drought reporting since 1999 had stream flow above to well above normal.  The Eel River at North Manchester had the lowest mean monthly flow at 103%, and the Whitewater River near Alpine had the highest mean monthly flow at 241%.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

On December 28, 2018, the Lake Michigan-Huron forecasted water level was three inches above the measurement taken on December 28, 2017, and one inch below the measurement taken on November 28, 2018. On December 31, 2018 the Michigan-Huron level was 580.12 feet, which is about 48 inches above the lowest recorded monthly mean level for December set in 2012. Comparison of December monthly mean water levels to the long-term (1918-present) average shows Lakes Michigan-Huron water level was about 20 inches above the average. All Lake Michigan-Huron data are referenced to the International Great Lakes Datum 1985.

The Lake Michigan-Huron water level is forecast by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to fall two inches through January 28, 2019.

Reservoirs

On January 2, 2019, the water levels for all eight reservoirs monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were above the normal pool elevation. The deviation from normal pools ranged from 3.2 feet (Monroe) to 13.2 feet (Mississinewa). 

Two of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Energy Group (Morse and Geist) were above their respective normal pool elevations as of January 3, 2019.  The deviation from normal pools ranged from -0.87 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.62 feet (Geist and Morse).

Groundwater Levels

As of December 31st, 2018 new water level data is available for eight of the nine wells currently monitored.  Of the nine wells monitored, data indicate the groundwater levels are near normal for La Porte 9 and Fulton 7. Groundwater levels for La Grange 2, Vigo 7, Randolph 3, Posey 3, Harrison 8 and Clark 20 are above to well above normal. Data for Morgan 4 is showing near normal groundwater levels as of December 20, 2018.

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

Standardized 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

Groundwater level data:
U.S. Geological Survey and State of Indiana cooperative program

Temperature data:
Midwestern Regional Climate Center and Indiana State Climate Office, Purdue University