Newsletter XV - The UV Index

Even in early March, you can need sun protection. The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Weather Service provide a daily UV Index, which predicts the maximum level of ultraviolet radiation (at solar noon) for the next day on a scale of 0 to 11+, ranking the risk from low to extreme. These predictions are affected by time of year, time of day, elevation, latitude, cloud cover, and ozone levels.

UV range less than 2 is low and no protection is required. You can safely stay outside unless you have very fair skin.

UV range 3 to 5 is moderate. Seek shade during midday hours. Wear sun protective clothing, including a hat with a three-inch brim and sunglasses.

UV range 6 to 7 is high. Seek shade during midday hours. Wear sun protective clothing, including a hat with a three-inch brim and sunglasses. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours.

UV range 8 to 10 is very high, which requires extra protection. Avoid being outside during midday hours. Seek shade. Wear sun protective clothing, including a shirt, a hat with a three-inch brim and sunglasses. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours.

UV range 11 is extreme and requires caution. Avoid being outside during midday hours. Seek shade. Wear sun protective clothing including a shirt, a hat with a three-inch brim and sunglasses. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours.

Many radio and TV weather reports now include the UV Index. You can also visit the EPA's web site to get the UV Index for your zip code. Use this information daily to make appropriate decisions about sun protection. And remember, when outside be SunAWARE™ .