Local weather experts IW Met Service have recorded extremely high UV index readings at several of their weather stations across the Island this month.
At first, forecasters thought there was a malfunction with a sensor but analysis of different locations reveals that spikes in ultra-violet radiation have been recorded.
The UV index is a measurement of the sun’s ultra-violet radiation – this is what causes human and animal skin to burn. The higher the reading the stronger the UV light. An index of 1 is the lowest possible number and 11 is the highest – a figure that would never be seen here in the UK.
Jamie Russell, Chief Forecaster at IW Met Service, explains:
“In May we usually expect the UV index on a sunny day to be around 6 with a reading of 7 on exceptionally clear days, especially during the second half of the month, but as you can see we saw a single spike of 8 on the 9th of May and a spike of 9 on the 27th! This would be exceptional even for the middle of June, let alone May.
“The reason behind this is a little uncertain but it seems that on these days there was a large amount of puffy white cumulus clouds in the sky and these clouds can reflect the sunlight in a significant way, therefor increasing the amount of sunlight reaching the ground.
“Another thing that has had an influence is the unusually dry air that we have had rather frequently through the spring and this can increase the amount of sunlight/UV light reaching the ground too”.
Jamie says there have been other peaks throughout March and April too.