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A comprehensive evaluation of the relationship between vegetation and Land Surface Temperature (LST) over the North America is presented. It is found that the correlations between LST and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) depend on the season-of-year and time-of-day. For winter, the correlation between NDVI and LST is positive. The strong negative correlations between LST and NDVI are only found during the warm seasons. Thus temperature-related drought indices may only be used in the warm seasons from May to October, and should be used with caution during cold seasons in North America. The cooling effect of vegetation on LST is stronger during daytime than nighttime. Moreover, the negative correlations between NDVI and LST are much stronger than those between NDVI and the brightness temperature. Therefore using daytime LST for drought monitoring should be more reasonable than using brightness temperature or nighttime LST.


This article was originally published in Geophysical Research Letters, volume 34, in 2007. DOI:10.1029/2007GL031485

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