Scottish coastal towns set for harmful UV levels today

St Andrews is one of the places that will see strong UV radiation this afternoon (Photo: Shutterstock)
St Andrews is one of the places that will see strong UV radiation this afternoon (Photo: Shutterstock)

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels will be very high in many parts of Scotland today, making sunscreen and eye protection exceptionally important.

Locations on both the east and west coasts of Scotland will experience some of the highest UV levels seen in the UK this afternoon, reaching six and even seven on the index.

While Edinburgh and Glasgow will see only medium UV levels today, the forecast for cities such as Inverness and Aberdeen is high. Locals should be aware of the risks and dress accordingly when going out and about.

UV will be worst in the west

The strongest UV rays will scorch Scotland’s west coast, with places like Girvan predicted to hit seven on the scale by around 1pm. Also in the west, Ayr should reach a UV index of six between 1pm and 2pm, when temperatures are set to hit 20C and skies are clear.

Further north, St Andrews, Aberdeen, Fraserburgh and Inverness can all expect the same UV levels between 12pm and 2pm.

If you need to be outside during these times, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, and take care of your skin by using both sunscreen containing adequate sun protection factor (SPF) and clothing.

What are UV rays?

Sunlight is the main source of ultraviolet (UV) rays, which is why conditions are most dangerous on sunny days.

The aim of the UV index is to warn people of increased risk, and encourage them change their behaviour in order to protect themselves against the risks of skin cancer, skin damage and other health problems.

The position of the sun in the sky, cloud cover and ozone amounts in the stratosphere all play a part in determining the UV index each day.

The UV index does not exceed eight in the UK, but in locations like the Mediterranean, nine and 10 are common.