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Monthly Water Resource Summary

September, 2021

Precipitation

For September 2021, Indiana’s precipitation was above normal, with average temperature above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was 130.9 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 68.8 degrees Fahrenheit or 3.1 degrees above normal.

Seven of the nine climate divisions received normal to much above normal precipitation for the month of September. Climate Division 9 (SE) received the highest (175.4) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while Climate Division 1 (NW) received the lowest (68.4) percentage.

For the year to date, six of the nine climate divisions have received near normal or above normal precipitation, ranging from 93.7 percent of normal for Division 6 (EC) to 110.1 percent of normal for Division 9 (SE). For the 2021 water year, which began October 1, 2020, total precipitation is above normal for five of the nine climate divisions (92.2% to 108.0% percent of normal). Over the longer duration, beginning January 2020, six of the nine climate divisions have received below normal precipitation. These range from 89.4 percent for Climate Division 2 (NC) to 107.5 percent for Climate Division 8 (SC).

The 12-month SPI indices shows Climate Division 9 (SE) in the “moderately wet” category; with all the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category. The 6-month SPI indices shows Climate Division 3 (NE) and Climate Division 9 (SE) in the “moderately wet” category; with all the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category. The 3-month SPI indices shows climate divisions 3 (NE), 5 (C), 7 (SW), 8 (SC) and 9 (SE) in the “moderately wet” category with the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category.  The 1-month SPI indices shows climate divisions 5 (C), 6 (EC), 8 (SC) and 9 (SE) in the “moderately wet” category with the remaining climate divisions in the “near normal” category.

U. S. Drought Monitor

For September 28, 2021, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows large portions of north-central and west-central part of the state and a small area in the southeast part of the state are experiencing “Abnormally Dry” conditions while the rest of the State is not experiencing drought conditions.  The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook predicts drought conditions are likely to cease by the end of December 2021.

The 1-month outlook predicts the western half of Indiana to experience above normal precipitation for October, while the remaining parts of Indiana are expected to experience near normal precipitation. The 3-month predicts the northeast corner of Indiana to experience above normal precipitation for the period and the rest of the state to experience near normal precipitation.

Streamflow

In September 2021, ten of the twelve streams included in drought reporting since 1999 had stream flow above normal or much above normal.  Sugar Creek at Crawfordsville had the lowest mean monthly flow at 38%, and the Whitewater River near Alpine had the highest mean monthly flow at 302%.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

On October 1, 2021, the Lake Michigan-Huron forecasted water level was four inches below the measurement taken on September 1, 2021, and sixteen inches below the measurement taken October 1, 2020. On September 30, 2021, the Michigan-Huron level was forecasted to be 580.33 feet, which is about 44 inches above the lowest recorded monthly mean level for September set in 1964. Comparison of September monthly mean water levels to the long-term (1918-present) average shows Lakes Michigan-Huron water level was about 16 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 through November 1, 2021.

Reservoirs

On September 30, 2021, water levels for six 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 pools ranged -1.99 feet (J.E. Roush) to 2.23 feet (Salamonie).

Two of three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Energy Group (Morse and Geist) were above their respective normal pool elevations as of September 30, 2021. The deviation from normal pools ranged from -1.20 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.21 feet (Morse).

Groundwater Levels

AAs of October 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 levels are currently near normal for Randolph 3, Posey 3 and Harrison 8. Vigo 7 is currently above normal. Groundwater levels are below normal for LaPorte 9, Fulton 7, Lagrange 2, Morgan 4, 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