JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sunburns are typically associated with hot summer days, but it turns out this time of the year is when the most severe sunburns typically occur.
It starts with the angle of the sun. The Food and Drug Administration explains that during spring, the sun’s angle becomes more direct, which makes for stronger UV radiation. The sun’s angle and intensity in late April and early May is the equivalent of the angle and intensity of late August.
The difference is prior exposure to sun and temperatures. By late August, most people have spent months in the strong, direct sunlight of the summer. Hopefully wearing sunscreen.
When we experience the more direct sun rays in April and May, we often haven’t spent much time in the sun, and the time that we have spent in the sun in February and March we experienced a far less intense level of UV radiation.
The second difference is temperatures. In late August, we are quite humid and still spending most of the day well into the 80s. Temperatures in April and May often only top out in the 70s, so while you are outside absorbing those more intense UV rays, you don’t feel hot or get the normal indications you may have spent too much time in the sun without protection.
This weekend kicks off a dry and sunny weather pattern that sticks around through the middle of the week, so it would be quite easy to get severely sunburned. Stick to the shade when you can and rely on sunscreen and protective clothing.