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The UV Index: What does it mean?

It seems like it has been years since we last saw sunshine, but with sunny days in the forecast ahead, it's time to talk about what UV rays are and how they can be harmful. If you’re looking to get a good tan or if you’re looking to avoid being sunburnt, knowing what the UV index means can be incredibly helpful. 

UV light, or ultraviolet light, comes from the sun and can be damaging to skin and eyes if they are not properly protected. UV light can be reflected off of surfaces and clouds, meaning that you can be sunburnt, even on a cloudy day. Sunscreen can be used to help reflect those harmful rays off your skin, similarly to the way clouds reflect that light. 

The UV index ranges from 0-11+ with each higher number equating more harmful UV rays. For instance, a UV index between 8-10, like we’re seeing today, can cause people to burn in 10-20 min. 

So if you’re headed out the door at all these next few days, make sure to grab the sunscreen and the sunglasses.

Insider Blog / Weather
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Maddie Est

Maddie Est appears on ABC 17’s weekend evening broadcasts. She grew up in St. Louis, and her passion for weather originated from a young age thanks to all the different weather that St. Louis receives. She is currently studying Atmospheric Science at the University of Missouri.


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