Don’t let the time of year fool you – UV rays are already near “High” on the UV index which means fair skinned people can get burnt relatively quickly.
The UV index, which measures the amount of Ultra Violet radiation coming from the sun, is currently reading up to 5 across New Zealand which is “moderate” but just 1 point away from “high”.
“New Zealanders need to be fully aware that we’re almost at the ‘high’ level on the UV index, which means there’s a higher risk of harm to your skin from unprotected sun exposure” says the Radio Network’s Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan.
“I’ve heard reports of people getting sunburnt in the past few days with a lot of people saying it’s ‘only spring’ but the truth is UV radiation is getting near dangerous levels already”.
Duncan says a good guide to use is your own shadow. “If it’s longer than you then the sun is low in the sky and so is the UV radiation. If your shadow is short, like around the middle of the day, then UV rays are higher. The shorter the shadow the greater the risk”.
The UV index goes from 1 to 11, but in New Zealand’s summer it’s quite normal to go to 11+ which is “extreme”.