Better put on some sunscreen when going out, and avoid staying outside for extended times.
Based on the UV index, the ultraviolet radiation levels in Singapore reached “extreme” levels every day from 11am-3pm of the past week, and peaked at above 15 on Monday (19 Feb), as well as last Tuesday.
The UV index is based on one-hour average UV levels across Singapore during the measured period, according to the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS).
Anything over 11 is considered “extreme”, by the World Health Organisation’s standards. Extra protection against sunlight is extremely important at those levels of radiation.
While temperature and UV levels are somewhat correlated, they are not directly proportional to each other.
For example, the peak temperature on Monday (19 Feb) of 34 degrees Celsius is somewhat common in Singapore on a usual hot day, but a UV level of 15 is unusually very high, and was last recorded nearly half a year ago on 17 September last year.
The abnormally high UV levels were first noted on the Singapore reddit forum, where a user who used the NEA app noticed it was recording UV readings above the measurable scale given.
Many Singaporeans also noted the harsh weather, such as this poor NS boy in BMT:
Excessive exposure to sunlight at high UV levels lead to faster and more severe sunburns, and long-term exposure could significantly increase the chances of skin cancer.
According to MSS, daily temperature-highs of 34 degrees and extreme UV levels are expected for at least the next two weeks.
Singaporeans are advised to stay indoors during the hottest hours of 11am-3pm as much as possible, and to use sunblock where necessary.