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The Global Solar UV Index (UVI) is a simple measure describing the level of solar ultraviolet radiation at the Earth’s surface and gives an indicator of the potential for skin damage. The values of the index range from zero upward. The higher the index value, the greater the potential for damage to the skin and eye, and the less time it takes for harm to occur.
It serves as an important vehicle to raise public awareness and to alert people about the need to adopt protective measures when exposed to UV radiation. It helps draw attention to the intensity of the spring and summer sun and to the ease of burning, especially on overcast or windy days, which might otherwise be deceiving. It shows that UV radiation levels may be very high even if you do not feel very hot. Infrared radiation is what makes you feel hot; this is different from UV radiation, which cannot be felt.
UV radiation levels and therefore the values of the index vary throughout the day. In reporting the UVI, most emphasis is placed on the maximum UV radiation level on a given day. This occurs during the 4-hour period around solar noon, which depends on geographical location and whether daylight saving time is applied. It Malta it is at 13.00. The media usually present a forecast of the maximum UV radiation level for the following day.
In many countries the UVI is reported along with the weather forecast in newspapers, on TV and on the radio.
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