Pond Temperature Predictions

Seven-Day Predicted Morning Pond Temperature

This worksheet has been developed to aid Mississippi aquaculture producers
in estimating pond temperatures for pond management decisions.

*** This worksheet should be run each morning.**

Enter this morning's pond temperature in the corresponding
box depending on weather you have taken your water temperatures in °F
or °C. Then enter the minimum air temperature from this morning. Determine
from your regional weather office the forecasted maximum & minimum air
temperature for the next seven days and enter. (There are several links available
for you to do this on the bottom of this page.) Then click the corresponding"Calculate"
button and the worksheet will calculate the seven-day forecasted morning pond

Please See Limitations of Worksheet

Predicted Morning Pond Temperature Calculation Worksheet
Min Air Temperature °F
Max Air Temperature °F
Morning Pond
Temperature °F
Morning Pond Temperature °C

Forecasted Morning Pond Temperature

Forecasted Morning Pond Temperature


Pond Temperature Prediction models

Empirical models were developed to predict the next morning or next afternoon pond temperature in Mississippi (Wax,et. al., 1987). Five sets of data were used to determine the relationship between air temperatures and pond temperatures by a trial-and-error method of selecting the air temperature factors that best predicted the corresponding pond temperatures for a period of time. Empirical correlations were developed for each data set. The data sets included small and large ponds at Stoneville in 1983 & 1984 and small ponds at Mississippi State University in 1984. Statistical analysis showed no need to account for the year, size of pond, or location so the correlations were pooled for both morning and afternoon pond temperature predictions.

Morning pond temperature = 6.937 + 0.062 (max air temp, day before) + 0.285 (min air temp, same day) + 0.561 (afternoon pond temp, day before) R2 = 0.88

Afternoon pond temperature = 5.136 - 0.068 (min air temp, same day) + 0.651 (morning pond temp, same day) + 0.373 (max air temp, same day) R2 = 0.82

Assumption: The relationships developed during the data collection period are also viable during the rest of the year.

Note: The authors discussed concern over this assumption when water temperatures reached 40 °F or below.

Note: Examination of predicted and observed pond temperature data and historical synoptic weather maps indicates that these models are most susceptible to errors during the passage of a cold front. Errors in the magnitude of plus or minus 8° F were found in extreme cases.

Note: This empirical model does not take into account variations in environmental conditions which might affect the relationship (ex. Trees which would provide a wind break for some ponds).

Note: Ponds in this study were constructed for catfish production, with a water depth of 3 to 5 feet.

Note: Use of this empirical model in geographical areas other than Mississippi should be tested to determine its applicability.


Forecasted weather models

There are numerous weather forecasts available from NWS and private entities that predict maximum and minimum air temperatures. The predictions vary as each forecast bases its predictions on a different weather model. In general, short term-forecasts look at weather 6 to 72 hours out while medium-range forecasts look for conditions 48 hours out and more. Obviously, the farther from the issuance of the weather forecast, the more the weather is subject to change.


Pond Temperature Prediction Worksheet

Combining the above empirical models of morning and afternoon pond temperatures will allow the estimation or prediction of next day pond temperatures. Using these estimations along with forecasted maximum and minimum air temperatures, pond temperatures can be predicted for the next several days. The confidence level of this prediction procedure has yet to be determined.

This worksheet allows the user to select any forecast that they feel comfortable. A few medium range forecasts are linked to this page for your convenience. Other forecast links can be added upon request.

This worksheet should be run with most current air and pond temperature data and weather forecasts. Generally forecasts are generated twice a day.

This worksheet is a tool, not an actual forecast from NWS or any other entity. We (MSU) assume no responsibility in actual pond temperatures so the user will have to use their own judgment.

Reference: Wax, C.L., J. W. Pote, and N. C. Deliman. 1987."A
Climatology of Pond Temperatures for Aquaculture in Mississippi. Mississippi
Agricultural & Forestry Experiment Station. Technical Bulletin 149. November
1987. Pp. 45.