Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The UV Index

Have you heard of the UV Index? Today’s Fun Fact Wednesday will look at what the UV Index means and what precautions you need to take when in the Australian Sun.

The UV Index is a measure of the amount of Ultra-Violet (UV) radiation from the Sun reaching the Earth’s surface. UV radiation is responsible for sunburn, cataracts and skin cancer. A UV Index of 6 to 11 or more is considered to be of high to extreme risk. The chart below shows that for much of the year in Australia, the UV Index is in this range. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology produces a UV Index Forecast which predicts the UV Index nationwide. On days where the UV Index is above 3 remember to Slip, Slop, Slap. Slip on a shirt, slop on the sunscreen and slap on a hat.

The chart below shows the average weekly UV Index for Sydney over the last 7 years and for the most recent year1. It is interesting to note that the UV Index was consistently higher over the last year than the 7 year average.

UV Index

1. Source: Australian Radiation Protection And Nuclear Safety Agency

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