NCEP/EMC Near-Shore Water Surface Temperature PageSubmit an observation of water temperatures and ice condition
There are many surface water temperature analyses in the world. One area they disagree with each other the most is near shore. Lakes and rivers, inland waters, show so much disagreement that many groups do not analyze those areas at all. Coastal (ocean) waters are also difficult, for many of the same reasons. Partly for this reason, the international Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature started an Inland Waters Working Group. The other major reason is that weather prediction models need to know the water temperatures to make the best possible forecasts. If a lake is much too warm in winter, the model might forecast a thunderstorm over the lake (this happened). As the models have improved their grid spacing, the US NAM model now has 4 km (2.5 miles) spacing, they 'see' more and more lakes. And, as people want increasingly detailed forecasts, they also notice the effects of erroneous representation of water surface temperatures on forecasts.
More background on the project
Guidance on how to take observations of water temperatures
Points of Contact