UV Index

UV Index | NASA

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About this dataset

The UV Index is a measure of the intensity of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the Sun. Some exposure to the Sun’s rays is beneficial as it helps our bodies produce vitamin D. But too much exposure to UV rays can have harmful effects. In the short-term, skin exposed to UV rays can burn. A ‘sunburn’ can happen within minutes or over the course of several hours. Over the long term, UV exposure can result in premature aging, skin cancer, and damage to your eyes.

The UV index climatology shows how much UV exposure a person could get on average during each month. The index is a scale of 0 to 16+, with 0 representing minimal UV exposure risk and values higher than 11 posing an extreme risk. To inform people about the risk one can expect from UV rays, the National Weather Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have developed a daily UV Index, which is based partly on this climatology.

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December 2010

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Related Websites


Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI)

Further Reading

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Imagery produced by the NASA Earth Observations team based on data provided by Jerry Ziemke from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) science team.

Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata

View the FGDC Metatdata for UV Index

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