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Monthly Water Resource Summary

December, 2020

Precipitation

December 2020 Indiana precipitation was generally below normal, with average temperature above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average 56.7 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 33.4 degrees Fahrenheit or about 2.3 degrees above normal.

All nine of Indiana's climate divisions received below normal precipitation for the month of December. Climate Division 6 (EC) received the lowest (46.3) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while Division 1 (NW) received the highest (74.5) percentage.

For the year to date, five of the nine climate divisions have received above normal precipitation, ranging from 84.8 percent of normal for Division 2 (NC) to 115.0 percent of normal for Division 8 (SC).  For the 2020 water year, which began October 1, 2020, total precipitation is near normal or above normal for five of the nine climate divisions (68.2 to 106.4 percent of normal). Beginning January 2019, each of the state's nine climate divisions have received near or above normal precipitation. These range from 95.0 percent for Division 2 (NC) to 121.1 percent for Division 7 (SW).

The 12-month SPI indices shows Climate Divisions 7 (SW) and 8 (SC) in the "moderately wet" category and all the remaining climate divisions in the "near normal" category. The 6-month SPI indices shows Climate Divisions 1 (NW) and 2 (NC) in the "moderately dry" category with the remaining climate divisions in the "near normal" category. The 3-month SPI indices shows all the climate divisions in the "near normal" category. The 1-month SPI indices shows Climate Divisions 6 (EC) and 8 (SC) in the "moderately dry" category with the remaining climate divisions in the "near normal" category.

U. S. Drought Monitor

For December 29, 2020, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that the northern third of Indiana is experiencing moderate drought or abnormally dry conditions while a small area in south-central Indiana is experiencing abnormally dry conditions. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook predicts drought conditions should persist for much of the northern third of Indiana and should end for the rest of the state by the end of March 2021.

Streamflow

In December 2020, all of the streams included in drought reporting since 1999 had stream flow below normal or much below normal.  Eel River at Manchester had the lowest mean monthly flow at 30%, and the White River at Petersburg had the highest mean monthly flow at 64%.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

On January 2, 2021, the Lake Michigan-Huron forecasted water level was two inches below the measurement taken on December 1, 2020, and six inches below the measurement taken on January 1, 2020. On December 31, 2020, the Michigan-Huron level was 581.07 feet, which is about 59 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 levels were about 31 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 one inch over the next month.

Reservoirs

On January 4, 2021, 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 +0.27 feet (Salamonie) to +5.6 feet (Cagles Mill)

Two of the three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Water, Morse and Geist, were above their respective normal pool elevations as of December 31, 2020. The deviation from normal pools ranged from -1.34 feet (Eagle Creek) to +0.30 feet (Morse).

Groundwater Levels

As of January 4, 2021, new water level data is available for all of the nine wells currently monitored.
Of the nine wells monitored, data indicates the groundwater level is currently above normal for Harrison 8. Groundwater levels are near normal for Vigo 7 and Randolph 3 and are below to well below normal for LaPorte 9, Fulton 7, Lagrange 2, Morgan 4, Posey 3 and Clark 20.

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