Cancer Council Australia

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UV index



Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the invisible killer that you can't see or feel. UV radiation can be high even on cool and overcast days. This means you can't rely on clear skies or high temperatures to determine when you need to protect yourself from the sun.


What is the SunSmart UV Index?

The SunSmart UV Index is a tool you can use to protect yourself from UV radiation. It tells you the time during the day that you need to be SunSmart.

The Index is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology when the UV index is forecast to reach 3 or above. At that level, it can damage your skin and lead to skin cancer.


How do I get the UV Index

The Index is reported in the weather page of all Australian daily newspapers, on the Bureau of Meteorology website, and on some radio and mobile weather forecasts.

For smartphone users, our free SunSmart app is a great way to check the UV Index when you are out and about. iPhone users can download it at the iTunes App Store and Android users at the Google Play store.

You can also check the Index for cities and towns across Australia with the widget on our home page. If you have your own website you can download our widget free of charge.

So whether you are at work, home or on the move, you can easily and quickly check the times of the day when sun protection is needed. 


When should I use the UV Index?

 Look or listen for the UV Index when you are:

  • Planning or participating in an outdoor activity or event
  • Undertaking recreational activities such as running, swimming, cycling or team sports
  • Watching a spectator sport, such as tennis or cricket
  • An outdoor worker, or have responsibility for outdoor workers, or
  • Responsible for young children and their outdoor activities.

If sun protection times have been issued, you need to protect yourself during the times indicated.

UV alert


This page was last updated on: Friday, December 9, 2016

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