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Harsh rays

The intensity of the summer sun is certainly being noticed at the moment with reports of sunburn on a number of people up and down the country.

Even though we are more than a month past the longest day, the UV index reading is very high to extreme in most areas, as the sun is still closest to the southern hemisphere. 

Of course we are all different. Some of us can be out in the sun all day and not even notice any form of sunburn or tanning whereas others can be completely covered and yet the merest piece of flesh showing seems to burn in just seconds!

Even cloudy days can see a few of us get a good colour up as the suns rays are strong enough to break through the cloud. When it’s cool and windy there seems little chance of it happening but don’t be fooled, wind burn can be just as nasty (just ask a few skiers!)

We’ve had a particularly sunny month and visitors from overseas certainly notice just how harsh the kiwi sun is and often come unprepared. More than one or two end up with some severe cases of sunburn which can border on sunstroke which is a very painful experience.

The cover up message has certainly got through to the younger generation with hats in schools, shade sails and larger swimming costumes covering up young ones. Sometimes it’s the older generation that suffer more, as the message takes a little longer to get through.

It doesn’t seem to be that long ago that we had suntan lotion and we couldn’t wait to get a tan, no matter how long we had to suffer the effects of too much sun. Skin cancer is obviously a worry these days and a majority of us do slip, slop, slap and wrap but there are still a few who like to capture a taste of summer no matter what the consequences may be.

It’s great to enjoy summer and it’s also important to remember that mother nature can keep us on our toes. We just need to move a little quicker and be prepared.

Weather Analyst – Richard Green


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