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Monthly Water Resource Summary

August, 2020

Precipitation

For August 2020, Indiana’s precipitation was below normal, with average temperature near normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was 95.6 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 72.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.3 degrees above normal.

Six of the nine climate divisions received near normal to below normal precipitation for the month of August. Climate Division 8 (SC) received the highest (152.4) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while climate divisions 1 (NW) and 4 (WC) received the lowest (67.7) percentage.

For the year to date, six of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 91.6 percent of normal for Division 2 (NC) to 124.2 percent of normal for Division 8 (SC). For the 2020 water year, which began October 1, 2019, total precipitation is above normal for five of the nine climate divisions (89.4% to 123.1% percent of normal). Over the longer duration, beginning January 2019, all nine climate divisions have received near normal or above normal precipitation. These range from 99.6 percent for Climate Division 2 (NC) to 127.7 percent for Climate Division 7 (SW).

The 12-month SPI indices shows climate divisions 1 (NW), 7 (SW) and 8 (SC) in the “moderately wet” category; with the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category. The 6-month SPI indices shows Climate Division 8 (SC) in the “moderately wet” category; with the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category. The 3-month SPI indices shows Climate Division 3 (NE) in the “moderately dry” category; climate divisions 7 (SW) and 8 (SC) in the “moderately wet” category; with all the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category. The 1-month SPI indices shows Climate Division 8 (SC) in the “moderately wet” category; with the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category.

U. S. Drought Monitor

For August 25, 2020, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the northeast and north-central portions of Indiana are experiencing moderate drought conditions while the northwestern portion is experiencing abnormally dry conditions. The rest of the state is experiencing near normal conditions. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook predicts drought conditions should end by the end of November, 2020.

Streamflow

In August 2020, four of the twelve streams included in drought reporting since 1999 had stream flow below normal or much below normal.  The St. Mary’s River at Decatur had the lowest mean monthly flow at 25%, and East Fork White River at Shoals had the highest mean monthly flow at 285%.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

On August 28, 2020, the Lake Michigan-Huron forecasted water level was two inches below the measurement taken on July 28, 2020, and five inches above the measurement taken on August 28, 2019. On August 31, 2020, the Michigan-Huron level was 582.00 feet, which is about 64 inches above the lowest recorded monthly mean level for August set in 1964. Comparison of August monthly mean water levels to the long-term (1918-present) average shows Lakes Michigan-Huron water levels were about 33 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 three inches over the next month.

Reservoirs

On August 31, 2020, the water levels for seven of the eight reservoirs monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were at or above the normal pool elevation. The deviation from normal pool ranged from -0.8 feet (Patoka) to +0.4 feet (J.E. Roush).  

Two of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water, Morse and Eagle Creek, were above their respective normal pool elevations as of August 31, 2020. The deviation from normal pools ranged from -0.55 feet (Geist) to 0.58 feet (Eagle Creek).

Groundwater Levels

As of August 31, 2020 new water level data is available for all of the nine wells currently monitored. Of the nine wells monitored, data indicates groundwater levels are currently above normal for Vigo 7 and Harrison 8. Groundwater levels are near normal for Lagrange 2, Randolph 3, and Posey 3. Groundwater levels are below to well below normal for LaPorte 9, Fulton 7, Morgan 4, and Clark 20. 

On August 27th, Fulton 7 recorded a new record low of 18.02 feet below land surface and on August 28th, Clark 20 recorded a new record low of 34.82 feet below land surface.

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