The ultraviolet index and your local forecast

The ultraviolet (UV) index is a useful tool when it comes to sun protection. It was developed by Environment Canada to inform Canadians about the strength of the sun's ultraviolet radiation. The higher the number, the stronger the UV rays, the greater the need to protect yourself.

Canada was the first country in the world to issue daily UV index forecasts for major cities. Latitude, cloud cover, humidity, and precipitation are factored into the local UV index, which is reported on radio stations, television, in newspapers, or on the web when the index is 3 or above.

Find the current UV index in your area and use the following table to determine your recommended sun protection actions:

UV index sun protection actions
0 - 2
Low
Minimal sun protection required. If outside for more than one hour, wear sunglasses and sunscreen. Reflections can nearly double UV strength.
3 - 5
Moderate
Take precautions. Cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen if outside for 30 minutes or more. Look for shade near midday.
6 - 7
High
Protection required. UV damages skin and can cause sunburn. Reduce time in the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shade, cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
8 - 10
Very high
Extra protection required. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn quickly. Avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shade, cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
11+
Extreme
Maximum protection required. Unprotected skin will be damaged and can burn in minutes. Avoid the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remain in the shade, cover up, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
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