Delhi faced a high risk of ultraviolet radiation from the sun last month. Mumbai has been at medium risk while Pune is in the low-risk zone, as per data from March 18 to April 18 by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting Research (SAFAR).
SAFAR operates under the aegis of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, and facilitates information on air quality, weather and radiation (ultraviolet index).
Dr Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR, told The Indian Express that the UV index is a rough measure of the amount of harmful ultraviolet radiation in the sunlight reaching the earth’’ surface at a given location. The UV index was developed by the the city-based IITM and provides important information to help one plan outdoor work to prevent overexposure to the sun’s rays.
SAFAR has been operational in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and will also be set up in Ahmedabad on May 12. According to new data recorded from March 18 to April 18, there were several days when Delhi faced a high risk of ultraviolet radiation.
Medium risk means that the sun is not very dangerous in UV, but you should avoid being in direct sunlight for more than two hours. High risk means sun is becoming harmful in UV and a direct continuous exposure to sun for 1 hour is sufficient to get a sunburn, he pointed out. Values below 5 are considered to be safe and pose low risk while values between 5 and 7 are areas which are at medium risk. Values between 7 and 10 show that the areas are at high risk while values above 10 indicate extreme risk.
According to Beig, there were 18 days in this past month when Delhi faced a high risk of ultraviolet radiation and the values ranged between 7 and 9. In Pune, the values ranged between 4 and 6. According to Beig, although the temperature was high, the UV index remained in low risk zone in Pune as there are still a lot of aerosol particles in the atmosphere which scatter back the ultraviolet dose. By evening, the temperature drops in the city.
However, the UV index is likely to increase once there are thundershowers. In May, generally, the UV index reaches high levels in the city. In Delhi, however, there is not much variation between maximum and minimum temperatures and, hence, the UV index has been high, Beig explained.