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Average UV index

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The strong sun and a depleted Ozone layer means that Australia sees more than its fare share of Ultraviolet Rays. Skin cancer is a real risk in Australia and as such it is necessary to observe the UV levels on any given day so that you can protect your skin as best as possible.

This FACT indicates the Ultraviolet index in each Australian capital city. The index is determined by the average UV intensity in one year. The measurements for each UV index recorded were taken at noon, and only on days without clouds. The scope of this measurement extends from 1979 through to 2007. The UV index essentially shows the intensity of sunlight, and the amount of Ultraviolet light it emits. The UV index is a linear scale from 0 to 11+, with any reading at 11 or higher known as an extreme level. This varies depending upon the atmospheric conditions and the weather. In general when the UV index is higher there is a greater chance of burning.

It can be seen from the data that Adelaide Melbourne and Canberra have the same UV indexes at 6, whereas the tropical areas such as Darwin have much higher UV indexes. The city with lowest average UV index is Hobart at 4, which is known as being a moderate level.

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Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology, 2008

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