Dose up the sunscreen, Singapore’s UV readings have reached ‘extreme’ level

The peak level of UV rays have been noticed twice throughout the week. Source: Shutterstock

THE tropical heat in Singapore is likely not its best-kept secret, and if you find yourself wandering around the city-state in the afternoons, it is best to keep a bottle of sunscreen or an umbrella handy.

This is because the ultraviolet radiation level has recorded “extreme” readings this week, with the highest index reading of 15 on Feb 19.

The peak level of UV rays has been noticed twice throughout the week, according to the Straits Times. The Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said the one-hour average UV Index of 15 was recorded at 1 pm and 2 pm and again at 2 pm last Tuesday.

Last year, the UV index of 15 readings were seen on both Sept 8 and 17. However, it is not uncommon to look at the levels hit extreme level during the day.

Ranging from 0 to 11+, the UV index — which is the global standard of measurement for UV radiation exposure – is separated according to several categories ranging from low to extreme.

Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) website said extra protection against sunburn is needed when the value hits “very high” levels of between 8 and 10, and “extreme” levels of 11 and above.

The Meteorological Service Singapore advises the use sunscreen and umbrellas when out and about in the country during the afternoons. Source: joyfull/Shutterstock

The high reading was first pointed out by a netizen who took to popular online forum Reddit, sparking a fiery discussion among many residents in Singapore.

“Was wondering why it felt like a sauna in my house. Usually, it’s really cool here. Was out in direct sunlight for five minutes today and it was already too much,” a Reddit user said.

Several weeks ago, the MSS said the country was expected to have drier and warmer weather, after a mostly cool and wet January.

The MSS said warmer days could be expected in the second half of February with temperatures peaking at around 34 degrees Celsius. However, on most days, the maximum temperature expected to be between 32 or 33 degrees.

To protect yourself against sunburn and other skin-related complications, the MSS has advised you to do the following:

  • Use sunscreen (at least SPF 30)
  • Use an umbrella and seek shade
  • Wear sunglasses that block UVA/UVB rays
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat