Very hot and sunny days are not unusual for this time of year in Malta. In fact, this week’s weather forecast might look quite uneventful for any local; highs that exceed 30°C and barely any clouds anywhere. But the sun is set to get extra brutal soon enough.
Today has kicked off with highs that feel like 32°C, temperatures which will persist throughout the week and even budging up by a degree or two by the midweek. Evenings aren’t getting too fresh either, with lows never registering under 21°C. This, paired with a constantly calming wind that will soon go from Force 4 and 5 to 2 and 3, means we’re getting a classic, stifling summer week.
But it’s the UV Index where things are soon set to get worrying, with today’s index of 9 forecasted to keep rising… eventually hitting 12 by Friday.
Even for a Mediterranean island which regularly sees UV indexes of 10 and 11, Friday is expected to be particularly brutal for anyone caught outside.
Originally only going from 0 to “10+”, the UV Index measures the amount of damaging ultraviolet solar radiation expected to reach the Earth’s surface when the sun is highest in the sky… generally between the midday hours of 10am and 2pm. The amount of UV radiation is typically determined by the sun’s position in the sky, ozone levels and cloud cover.
As soon as the UV Index hits double digits, you’re looking at very strong sun strength, very quick skin burns, and a very high probablity of harmful UV radiation.
In fact, the World Health Organization warns against spending time outside when the UV index tops 12.
To further drive the point home, UV Indexes of 11 and 12 are officially listed as “Extremely Dangerous”.
And while Malta’s summer is typically dominated by days of 10s and 11s, a UV Index of 12 is uncommon even for us born and raised in this heat. Some prominent weather forecast websites, like the 25-year-old Dutch company MeteoVista, don’t even have UV Index classifications for Malta that are over 11.
And while the UV Index is only currently expected to hit 12 on Friday, it’s not like the rest of this week is going to be a walk in the park as far as staying outside during the day goes.
With the UV Index expected to hit 11 on multiple days throughout the week, we’d recommend keeping your outdoor time in the sun to a minimum and putting on sunblock when and where necessary.
Prolonged overexposure to the sun may cause skin cancer, one of the most prevalent forms of all cancers in many parts of the world. The uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells, this rapid growth results in tumors, which are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). And while melanoma is the least common type of skin cancers caused by UV, it actually causes a big chunk of all skin cancer deaths.