Wed, May 01, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Real-time UV monitoring sites go live

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has cooperated with the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) in establishing a real-time ultraviolet (UV) monitoring and reporting system, which opened to the public online yesterday.

The administration’s Environmental Monitoring and Data Processing Bureau said the effort to integrate data from two agencies was necessitated by upcoming government reform measures, because the administration and the weather bureau are to become part of the future ministry of the environment and natural resources.

After considering many factors, such as the overlapping of monitored areas, the new real-time UV data has been integrated to show data from a total of 34 monitoring stations nationwide — 20 weather bureau stations and 14 EPA stations — it said.

UV monitoring in Taiwan began in 1997, when the two agencies set up their respective monitoring stations and each started announcing its own data, it said, adding that the agencies decided last year how to unite their UV level data and then planned their data integration operations.

The real-time UV reporting system shows a map of Taiwan with the 34 monitoring stations. It uses numbers from 0 to 11 to show the UV reading at each station at any given hour. The numbers appear in circles of different colors, which indicate different UV levels.

As of 12pm yesterday, the UV levels of 13 monitoring sites appeared in red circles, meaning “very high” levels (between 8 and 10) in which people may get sunburned within 20 minutes, and that skin protection measures are recommended for people going outside.

At the same time, the UV level at Tainan reached the highest scale, or “extreme” UV level, marked in purple.

The EPA said that the UV monitoring information can be checked on the official Web sites of the EPA (taqm.epa.gov.tw/) and the CWB (www.cwb.gov.tw/), as well as on a free app that can be downloaded from the EPA Web site.

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