This worksheet has been developed to aid Mississippi aquaculture producers in estimating pond temperatures for pond management decisions.
NWS Tabular State Forecast, Jackson
NWS Medium Range Forecast, Mississippi
NWS Tabular State Forecast, Memphis
NWS Medium Range Forecast, Arkansas
Weather Channel 10-Day (Type in Zip Code)
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.