The UV Index, also known as the Solar UV Index, was developed by the World Health Organisation. The UV index forecast identifies the strength of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun at a particular place on a particular day, allowing you to take the necessary precautions to help reduce the impact of UVR on your health. As we know, small amounts of UVR exposure can be beneficial as it is essential for the production of vitamin D, however over exposure to UVR can lead to serious health issues such as skin cancers and eye damage that could result in cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.
The strength of UV varies depending on where you are in the world, the time of year and on a number of different weather factors such as the amount of cloud cover.
Here in the UK the UV index does not exceed 8 (8 is rare); 7 may occur on exceptional days, mostly in the month of June. Indices of 9 and 10 are very common in the Mediterranean area.
- 1-2 Low
- 3-5 Moderate
- 6-7 High
- 8-10 Very high
- 11 Extreme
The aim of the index is to warn people of increased risk and encourage them to use sun creams, sunglasses and hats when outdoors.