Obtaining accurate and timely lake surface water temperature (LSWT) analyses from satellite remains difficult. Data gaps, cloud contamination, variations in atmospheric profiles of temperature and moisture, and a lack of in situ observations provide challenges for satellite-derived LSWT for climatological analysis or input into geophysical models. In this study, the Multi-scale Ultra-high Resolution (MUR) analysis of LSWT is evaluated between 2007 and 2015 over a small (Lake Oneida), medium (Lake Okeechobee), and large (Lake Michigan) lake. The advantages of the MUR LSWT analyses include daily consistency, high-resolution (~1 km), near-real time production, and multi-platform data synthesis. The MUR LSWT versus in situ measurements for Lake Michigan (Lake Okeechobee) have an overall bias (MUR LSWT-in situ) of −0.20 °C (0.31 °C) and a RMSE
of 0.86 °C (0.91 °C). The MUR LSWT versus in situ measurements for Lake Oneida have overall large biases (−1.74 °C) and RMSE
(3.42°C) due to a lack of available satellite imagery over the lake, but performs better during the less cloudy 15 July–30 September period. The results of this study highlight the importance of calculating validation statistics on a seasonal and annual basis for evaluating satellite-derived LSWT.
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