Met Éireann are advising people to be ‘Sun Smart’ as it begins its UV and pollen forecasts today.
The Irish National Meteorological Service said forecasts are now available up to three days’ in advance in their regional forecasts on their website and app.
It comes as today marks the start of the pollen and UV Index season.
This year they expect the ‘birch pollen’ season to be around average, starting in the last week of March in the south-east of the country, spreading to the north by the beginning of April. The peak period will last through to late April, with a high risk on dry, sunny days, especially in the east of the country.
The ‘ash pollen’ season will coincide with birch pollen, with a moderate risk, again mainly in eastern areas. This year the ‘oak pollen’ season will be from mid-April to mid-May.
‘Grass pollen’ season will start from around mid-May, with the peak period likely in the middle two weeks of June.
The daily Solar UV Index level is now available until the end of August, with data sourced by Deutscher Wetterdienst.
As we go through spring and the sun gets higher in the sky, sunlight becomes noticeably stronger with harmful UV rays having the potential to cause skin damage, said Met Éireann.
People may be surprised to get sunburn in early April, but it’s helpful to remember that the sun is as strong in Ireland in April as it is in August. Sunlight is at its strongest at the summer solstice in June, then it is as strong in May as it is in July, as strong in April as it is in August and so on. So even though it may not be as warm in April as in August, the sun is just as strong, and you will still burn when exposed to the sun.