Water temperature is an important determinant of the growth and development of malaria mosquito immatures. To gain a better understanding of the daily temperature dynamics of malaria mosquito breeding sites and of the relationships between meteorological variables and water temperature, three clear water pools (diameter x depth: 0.16 × 0.04, 0.32 × 0.16 and 0.96 × 0.32 m) were created in Kenya. Continuous water temperature measurements at various depths were combined with weather data collections from a meteorological station. The water pools were homothermic, but the top water layer differed by up to about 2 °C in temperature, depending on weather conditions. Although the daily mean temperature of all water pools was similar (27.4-28.1 °C), the average recorded difference between the daily minimum and maximum temperature was 14.4 °C in the smallest versus 7.1 °C in the largest water pool. Average water temperature corresponded well with various meteorological variables. The temperature of each water pool was continuously higher than the air temperature. A model was developed that predicts the diurnal water temperature dynamics accurately, based on the estimated energy budget components of these water pools. The air-water interface appeared the most important boundary for energy exchange processes and on average 82-89% of the total energy was gained and lost at this boundary. Besides energy loss to longwave radiation, loss due to evaporation was high; the average estimated daily evaporation ranged from 4.2 mm in the smallest to 3.7 mm in the largest water pool. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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