Monthly Water Resource Summary

October, 2017

Precipitation

For October 2017, Indiana’s precipitation was generally above normal, with average temperature above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was approximately 134.2 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit or 4.3 degrees above normal.

Eight of the nine climate divisions received above normal or well above normal precipitation for the month of October. The northwestern climate division received the highest (202.7) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while the northeastern climate division received the lowest (89.9) percentage.

For the year to date, all of the nine climate divisions have received near normal or above normal precipitation, ranging from 97.6 percent of normal for the southwestern climate division to 123.9 percent of normal for the northeastern climate division. Beginning January 2016, all of the nine climate divisions have received near normal or above normal precipitation. These range from 100.4 percent for the southwestern division to 117.1 percent for the northwestern division.

The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month indices shows the northeastern and northwestern climate divisions in the “very wet” category; the north-central, central, and southeastern climate divisions in the “moderately wet” category with the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category. The 6-month SPI indices shows the southeastern climate division in the “very wet” category, the northwestern, north-central, northeastern, central, and east-central in the “moderately wet” category with the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category.  The 3-month SPI indices shows all climate divisions in the “near normal” category. The 1-month SPI indices shows the northwestern climate division in the “very wet” category, the north-central and southeastern climate divisions in the “moderately wet” category with the remaining climate divisions shown in the “near normal” category.

U. S. Drought Monitor

For the period ending October 31, 2017, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows a small area of “moderate drought” conditions in the west-central part of the state and “abnormally dry” conditions in some of the western portions of the state along with a relatively small section in the east-central portion of the state. No other drought conditions exist in the state.  The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook predicts current drought conditions will end by January 31, 2018.

Streamflow

Of the twelve streams included in drought reporting since 1999, four had stream flow from normal to well above normal and eight had stream flow below normal or well below normal.  St. Marys River at Decatur had the lowest mean monthly flow at 23%, and the Muscatatuck River near Deputy had the highest mean monthly flow at 196%.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

The Lake Michigan-Huron water level for October 27, 2017 was nine inches above the measurement taken on October 27, 2016, and the same as the measurement taken on September 27, 2017.  On October 31, 2017 the Michigan-Huron level was 580.32 feet, which is approximately 47 inches above the lowest recorded monthly mean level for October set in 1964. Comparison of October monthly mean water levels to the long-term (1918-present) average shows Lakes Michigan-Huron water levels were approximately 18 inches above the average. All Lake Michigan-Huron data are referenced to the International Great Lakes Datum 1985.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts the Lake Michigan-Huron water level to fall two inches over the next month.

Reservoirs

On October 31, 2017, the water level for six of the eight Indiana reservoirs being monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was below normal pool elevation. The normal pool deviation ranged from -3.4 feet (Salamonie) to 5.3 feet (Mississinewa). 

Two of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water were above their respective normal pool elevations as of October 31, 2017. The deviation from normal pools ranged from -1.39 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.10 feet (Geist).

Groundwater Levels

As of October 31, 2017 new water level data was available for all of the nine wells currently monitored. Of the nine wells monitored, data indicate the groundwater levels for LaGrange 2, Morgan 4, Randolph 3, and Posey 3 are below their respective mean monthly level. The mean monthly groundwater level is above normal for La Porte 9, Vigo 7, and Clark 20 and near normal for Fulton 7 and Harrison 8.

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