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Daylight saving marks an increase in ultraviolet rays

Daylight saving marks an increase in ultraviolet rays

Considering the weather in eastern parts of the country in the past week,it might be hard to believe that this is the time of year we get an increase in sunshine hours. Nevertheless, daylight savings marks the time of year when sunshine hours and temperatures start to rise rapidly."Although spring weather can be fickle, we see a large increase in the hours of bright sunshine at this time of year," said MetService Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths.

There is an increase of around one and a half hours of bright sunshine per day, on average, between the start of spring and the end of the season. "However, the current El Nino means a cooler than usual spring is on the cards for all regions of New Zealand," noted Griffiths. "But regardless of the temperature, the days get longer and the hours of sunshine increase most rapidly at this time of year."

Although our temperatures are still quite low, the Health Promotion Agency is advising that UV is already strong enough to cause sunburn if we don't use sun protection. Sunburn is a big concern because it's linked to skin cancer and New Zealand has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world. SunSmart advise us to use their Sun Protection Alerts which give specific regional times to protect skin and eyes and to "Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap - slip on a shirt or into the shade, slop on plenty of broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF30+, slap on a hat and wrap on a pair of wrap-around sunglasses".

At the start of spring in Auckland there are 5.1 hours of bright sunshine per day, on average, compared to 6.4 hours at the end of spring. In Wellington we start spring with 5.4 hours of bright sunshine per day, on average, compared to 7.0 hours at the end of spring. Further south in Christchurch, we start spring on 5.7 hours of bright sunshine per day, on average, compared to 7.5 hours at the end of spring, so there will be a significant difference.

According to MetService, this daylight savings change will be accompanied by sunny spells for many parts of the country over the next few days. However, some showers are also in the forecast, especially for the upper North Island where thunderstorms are possible during Monday afternoon and evening. Remember you can still be affected by ultraviolet rays on a cloudy day, so it is best to take precautions.

Keep up to date with the latest forecasts and any watches/warnings at metservice.com or on mobile devices at m.metservice.com. You can also follow our updates on MetService TV, at MetService New Zealand on Facebook, @metservice on Twitter and at blog.metservice.com

ENDS

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