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Monthly Water Resource Summary

February, 2019

Precipitation

February 2019 Indiana precipitation was generally well above normal, with average temperature above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was approximately 188.9 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 32.3 degrees Fahrenheit or about 1.8 degrees above normal.

Eight of Indiana’s nine climate divisions received above or well above normal precipitation for the month of February, and the remaining division received near normal precipitation. Climate Division 8 (SC) received the highest (248.7) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while Division 2 (NC) received the lowest (100.0) percentage. 

For the year to date, all nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 104.9 percent of normal for Division 2 (NC) to 193.9 percent of normal for Division 8 (SC).  For the 2019 water year, which began October 1, 2018, total precipitation is above normal for all nine climate divisions (108.8 to 141.5%) percent of normal. Beginning January 2018, each of the state’s nine climate divisions has received above normal precipitation. These range from 113.0 percent for Division 1 (NW) to 135.3 percent for Division 9 (SE).

The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) long-term 12-month index shows Climate Division 6 (EC), Climate Division 7 (SW), Climate Division 8 (SC), and Climate Division 9 (SE) in the “very wet” category; Climate Division 4 (EC) and Climate Division 5 (C) 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) and Climate Division 9 (SE) in the “extremely wet” category; Climate Division 5 (C), Climate Division 6 (EC), Climate Division 7 (SW) in the “very wet” category; Climate Division 1 (NW) and Climate Division 4 (WC) in the “moderately wet” category, and the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category.  The 3-month SPI indices shows Climate Division 7 (SW), Climate Division 8 (SC), and Climate Division 9 (SE) in the “very wet” category; Climate Division 5 (C) and Climate Division 6 (EC) in the “moderately wet” category and all remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category.  The 1-month SPI indices shows Climate Division 8 (SC) in the “extremely wet” category; Climate Division 5 (C), Climate Division 6 (EC), Climate Division 7 (SW) and Climate Division 9 (SE) in the “very wet” category with the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category.

U. S. Drought Monitor

For the period ending February 26, 2019, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows no drought conditions throughout the state. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook does not predict drought conditions through the end of May 2019.

Streamflow

In February 2019, of the twelve streams included in drought reporting since 1999, each of the twelve streams had stream flow well above normal.  The Kankakee River at Shelby had the lowest mean monthly flow at 160%, and the Whitewater River near Alpine had the highest mean monthly flow at 567%.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

On March 1, 2019, the Lake Michigan-Huron forecasted water level was one inch above the measurement taken on February 1, 2019, and two inches above the measurement taken on March 1, 2018. On February 28, 2019, the Michigan-Huron level was 580.20 feet, which is about 49 inches above the lowest recorded monthly mean level for February set in 1964. Comparison of February monthly mean water levels to the long-term (1918-present) average shows Lakes Michigan-Huron water levels were about 21 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 rise by two inches over the next month. 

Reservoirs

On February 28, 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 pool ranged from +0.7 feet (J.E. Roush) to +35.1 feet (Cagles Mill).  

Two of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water, Morse and Geist, were above their respective normal pool elevations as of February 28, 2019. Eagle Creek Reservoir was below normal pool elevation. The deviation from normal pools ranged from -2.22 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.36 feet (Morse).

Groundwater Levels

As of February 28th, 2019 new water level data is available for eight of the nine wells currently monitored.  Data for Posey 3 is current as of February 27th, 2019. 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, Morgan 4, Randolph 3, Posey 3, Harrison 8 and Clark 20 are above to well above normal.

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