- Micrometeorological models at various scales require ground surface temperature, which may not always be measured in sufficient spatial or temporal detail. There is thus a need for a model that can calculate the surface temperature using only widely available weather data, thermal properties of the ground, and surface properties. The vegetated/permeable surface energy balance (VP-SEB) model introduced here requires no a priori knowledge of soil temperature or moisture at any depth. It combines a two-layer characterization of the soil column following the heat conservation law with a sinusoidal function to estimate deep soil temperature, and a simplified procedure for calculating moisture content. A physically based solution is used for each of the energy balance components allowing VP-SEB to be highly portable. VP-SEB was tested using field data measuring bare loess desert soil in dry weather and following rain events. Modeled hourly surface temperature correlated well with the measured data (r 2 = 0.95 for a whole year), with a root-mean-square error of 2.77 K. The model was used to generate input for a pedestrian thermal comfort study using the Index of Thermal Stress (ITS). The simulation shows that the thermal stress on a pedestrian standing in the sun on a fully paved surface, which may be over 500 W on a warm summer day, may be as much as 100 W lower on a grass surface exposed to the same meteorological conditions.