Weather Watch: Stay safe from the power of the sun

Daffodils in the sunshine
Daffodils in the sunshine

The ultimate source of energy for life in our planetary system is solar radiation.

During March and April, sunshine hours are increasing rapidly as is the height to which the sun climbs in the sky.

The higher the sun is positioned in the sky, the less atmosphere it has to get through in order to reach Earth’s surface.

The sun sends energy in different forms of wavelength ranging from infrared to ultra-violet.

The UV index measures the amount of the sun’s radiation emitted in the ultra-violet.

This index represents the UV intensity around the sun’s highest point in the day, called solar noon, which is halfway between sunrise and sunset.

At present across Bucks, a value of four is possible on a clear day, high enough to boost our vitamin D levels but also burn our skin.

For the British Isles, the maximum possible UV levels continue to rise until the summer solstice on June 21, by which time values of seven (or under exceptional occasions even eight) can be achieved

While sufficiently high to burn unprotected skin in less than half an hour, this is still much lower than found elsewhere across the world. In Greece, Spain and Italy for example which, by definition, are in lower latitudes, values can peak at around 10 in the June midday sunshine.

Back in the Aylesbury Vale, high pressure is expected to build for the rest of this week and into the weekend, leading to dry and settled conditions with plenty of sunny spells by day.

Night-times are expected to stay dry with clear spells allowing it to turn chilly on some nights.

Temperatures will be around or just above average for this time of the year.