Satellite ocean color products from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) onboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) since 2012 and in situ water turbidity measurements from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Environmental Database System are used to develop a water turbidity algorithm for satellite ocean color applications in the Great Lakes for water quality monitoring and assessments. Results show that the proposed regional algorithm can provide reasonably accurate estimations of water turbidity from satellite observations in the Great Lakes. Therefore, VIIRS-derived water turbidity data are used to investigate spatial and temporal variations in water turbidity for the entirety of the Great Lakes. Water turbidity values are overall the highest in Lake Erie, moderate in Lake Ontario, and relatively low in lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron. Significantly high values in water turbidity appear in the nearshore regions, particularly in Thunder Bay (Lake Superior), Green Bay (Lake Michigan), and Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron). Seasonal patterns of water turbidity are generally similar in lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Ontario, showing relatively high values in the spring and autumn months and lows in the winter season, while the seasonal pattern in Lake Erie is apparently different from the other lakes, with the highest value in the winter season and the lowest in the summer season. A strong interannual variability in water turbidity is shown in the time series of the VIIRS-derived water turbidity data for most of the lakes.