The Environmental Protection Agency has issued Extreme UV Alerts in Sandoval County Friday.

The UV Index provides a forecast of the expected risk of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The National Weather Service calculates the UV Index forecast for most ZIP codes across the U.S., and EPA publishes this information.

The UV Index is accompanied by recommendations for sun protection and is a useful tool for planning sun-safe outdoor activities. Ozone depletion, as well as seasonal and weather variations, cause different amounts of UV radiation to reach the Earth at any given time. Taking these factors into account, the UV Index predicts the level of solar UV radiation and indicates the risk of overexposure on a scale from 0 (low) to 11 or more (extremely high). A special UV Alert may be issued for a particular area if the UV Index is forecast to be higher than normal.

Bernalillo has a UV Index of 12. Corrales and Rio Rancho each have a UV Index of 13. The Extreme UV Alerts are in place through July 10.

UV radiation from the sun is expected to be unusually intense this weekend in Sandoval County. The EPA strongly recommends the following steps to reduce risk of overexposure:

  • Be mindful that UV radiation is highest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and protect yourself accordingly.
  • Cover up by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, UV-protective sunglasses and long sleeves.
  • Generously apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 30 to exposed skin. Reapply every two hours.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect damaging UV rays.
  • Whenever possible, seek shade in the midday hours.