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UV Index Forecast and Skin Type

Sun Position

Current UV: 0.0    None

UV forecast: 28 Oct 2020 is 1.1   Low 

UV forecast: 29 Oct 2020 is 1.1   Low 

UV forecast: 30 Oct 2020 is 1.1   Low 

UV forecast: 31 Oct 2020 is 1.1   Low 

UV forecast: 1 Nov 2020 is 1.0   Low 

UV forecast: is n/a  None

UV forecast courtesy of and Copyright © KNMI/ESA (

The scale below shows different levels on the UV Index:



UV Index of 1 to 2

Minimal sun protection required for normal activities. Wear sunglasses on sunny days. If you are outside for more than an hour, cover up and use sunscreen.


UV Index of 3 to 5

Take precautions. Cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen—especially if you are outside for 30 minutes or longer. Find the shade around midday when the sun is at its strongest.


UV Index of 6 to 7

Protection needed. Avoid exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and
4 p.m., and take every precaution: seek shade, wear a hat and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen.

Very high

UV Index of 8 to 10

Additional precautions needed. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and
4 p.m., and take every precaution: seek shade, cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn quickly.


UV Index of 11 or more

Take all precautions. Avoid the sun between
10 a.m. and 4 p.m., cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn in just a few minutes.

The Dangers of UV Exposure

  • You can sunburn even on a cloudy day!

  • It is important to know that 60-80% of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is estimated to occur by age 18 - a good reason to protect children from the sun!

  • Concrete, sand, water, and snow reflect 85% of the sun’s UV rays.

  • Depletion of Earth’s ozone layer continues to increase your exposure to UV rays!

When are UV Rays the strongest?

The sun’s radiation is strongest during the summer months. However, you should protect yourself from early spring right through the fall. If you must be in the sun, wear clothes that cover your skin, including hats, sunglasses, long sleeved shirts and pants. Exposure also depends on other factors:

Time of Day

UV is greatest when the sun is at its highest in the sky.


While UV exposure is the greatest in the summer (May—August) in Canada, it is important to remember that UV rays reach Earth every day and you should be sun safe year-round—including wintertime! Snow can reflect 85% to 90% of the sun’s UV rays!

Cloud cover

The thicker and darker the clouds, the less UV gets through.

Type of surface

White surfaces, like snow, reflect the sun rays back at you.


The higher the elevation, the greater the UV exposure.


UV is strongest at the equator.

Exposure Time —

The longer you are out in the sun, the more UV rays you may receive. Remember, you are exposed whenever you’re out: picnics, Saturday yard chores, spectator/sports events, and more!

What you are wearing

exposed and unprotected skin absorbs more UV.

The UV Index and What it Means

Environment Canada’s UV Index measures the intensity of the sun’s burning UV rays. The higher the number, the stronger the sun’s rays. In Canada, the scale measures from 1 to 11, but it can reach up to 14 or higher in the southern United States and the tropics.

The daily UV Index forecast is a prediction of the maximum UV strength for the day. This peak is usually reached in the early afternoon. UV Index forecasts are widely available between April and September. Your sources include local TV and radio stations and the Environment Canada website.

               Risk of damage to skin

Solar index Skin type
Burns in the sun, may tan
(Category 1)
Tans with little or no burning
(Category 2)
Naturally pigmented skin – brown
(Category 3)
Naturally pigmented skin – black
(Category 4)
1 low
2 low
3 medium low
4 medium low
5 high medium low
6 high medium medium low
7 very high high medium medium
8 very high high medium medium
9 very high high medium medium
10 very high high high medium


The solar index does not exceed 8 in the UK (8 is rare; 7 may occur on exceptional days, mostly in the two weeks around the summer solstice).

Indices of 9 and 10 are common in the Mediterranean area.


Category People covered Approximate MED1
Category 1:
most UK indigenous groups < 300 J m-2 effective
Category 2:
mostly UK non-indigenous and non-naturally pigmented groups 600 J m-2 effective
Category 3:
'naturally brown'
mostly Asian and middle and south American groups 800 J m-2 effective
Category 4:
'naturally black'
African and Caribbean groups 1000 J m-2 effective

1 Minimum Erythemal Dose. One MED is the dose required to produce a minimum redness on sun-sensitive skin. Each value given in each of the categories represents an approximate mid-point value for a range. In the monthly solar reports the sensitive group appropriate to Category 1 is used with a MED of 200 J m-2 effective.

One MED equals two SED (Standard Erythemal Dose), which is described in CIE Publication No. 125 (1997).

Risk level Effect
low redness (erythema) in 2 hours or more (11:00–15:00 GMT in a UK summer
medium redness (erythema) in between 1 and 2 hours
high redness (erythema) in between 30 minutes and 1 hour
very high redness (erythema) in less than 30 minutes

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