Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pune in high risk ultra violet radiation zone


PUNE: With temperatures in the city hovering around 40C over the last few days, the ultra violet radiation index, which through summer was in the 'low risk' zone, has now entered the 'high risk' zone, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology's (IITM) System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) data has revealed.

On May 27, six out of the 10 monitored locations in Pune were in the red category of the UV index, indicating high risk of harm.

All the 10 monitored locations in the city reported UV index between 7-10 on all six days this week — from May 20 to May 26. This is the 'high risk' zone and prolonged exposure can cause skin burns. May 20 saw the index soaring to 9 — the highest so far during the last week. May 21 and May 24 reported second highest values on the index at over 8, which too falls in the high risk category.

"The UV index is effectively a rough measure of the amount of harmful ultraviolet radiation in the sunlight reaching the earth's surface at a given location. UV index is zero during the night when the sun has set. UV index peaks during summer months or after it has rained because of clear skies. Absence of cloud in the sky causes more radiation to reach the earth's surface," said SAFAR coordinator Neha Parkhi.

The high risk zone on the index indicates that prolonged exposure could burn a person severely in a few hours; and in such a case, one precaution that could be taken is to stay out of direct sunlight, cover up and use a sunscreen, said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR, IITM.

The six locations that saw the highest UV index values on May 27 are Lohegaon, Manjri, Bhumkar Chowk, Nigdi, Bhosari and Alandi — where the index shot up to 7.8. "Areas which have less greenery or fewer water bodies tend to accumulate more solar radiation, where as those areas that have more greenery or are overcrowded tend to reflect some solar radiation back to the atmosphere," said Beig. This explains why some areas in Pune had UV radiation values peaking higher than others.

The city has been experiencing sweltering heat since the last week, with day temperatures ranging between 36 degrees C and 40 degrees C (even beyond in case of Lohegaon), as per India Meteorological Department (IMD) temperature data.

Beig added that longer the continuous high risk days, the more harmful it is. "However, this summer did not have too many successive days with high UV index," he said.


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