What is the UV Index?
Some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable; however, too much could be dangerous. Overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause immediate effects such as sunburn and long-term problems such as skin cancer and cataracts. The UV Index, which was developed by the National Weather Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities to prevent overexposure to the sun's rays.
The UV Index provides an indicator of the expected risk of overexposure to the sun. The Index measures UV intensity levels on a scale of 1 to 11+, where low indicates a minimal risk of overexposure and 11+ means an extreme risk. The UV Index takes into account clouds and other local conditions that affect the amount of UV radiation reaching the ground.
By taking a few simple precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk of sun-related illnesses. To Be SunWise, consider the following steps:
- Limit your time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Whenever possible, seek shade.
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and if possible, tightly woven, full-length clothing.
- Wear UV-protective sunglasses.
- Watch the daily UV Index.
While you should always take precautions against overexposure to the sun, please take special care to adopt the safeguards when the UV Index indicates levels of moderate or above.
Sources of data:
UV Index forecast from temis.nl
UV Index maps from WeatherUnderground
Actual UV index readings/graph data from UV sensor on Davis Vantage Pro Plus weather station
Thanks to Ken at CapitolaWeather.net for the text and inspiration for this page.