Several times lately, we have heard of people getting sunburnt during the cooler months, so that prompted us to check the UV index and shed some light on what it means.
The UV index tells us the level of ultraviolet radiation that we are exposed to – the higher the number, the more intense the UV and the greater the risk of skin damage; ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes sunburn and this can lead on to skin cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in New Zealand.
In New Zealand, the maximum summer UV value is generally about 12, but it can exceed 13 in the far north of New Zealand. In winter UV generally has peak values of 1 or 2.
The Cancer Society recommends sun protection between September and April (especially between 10am and 4pm) or when the UV Index is 3 or higher. Throughout the winter there have been days where the UV index has exceeded 3 in the middle of the day, indicating we need to take sun protection measures regardless of the time of the year!
Click here for your daily UV Index.
(info source NIWA)