Extreme ultraviolet index due to broken clouds at a midlatitude site, Granada (southeastern Spain)
Cloud cover usually attenuates the ultraviolet (UV) solar radiation but, under certain sky conditions, the clouds may produce an enhancement effect increasing the UV levels at surface. The main objective of this paper is to analyze an extreme UV enhancement episode recorded on 16 June 2009 at Granada (southeastern Spain). This phenomenon was characterized by a quick and intense increase in surface UV radiation under broken cloud fields (5-7 oktas) in which the Sun was surrounded by cumulus clouds (confirmed with sky images). Thus, the UV index (UVI) showed an enhancement of a factor 4 in the course of only 30 min around midday, varying from 2.6 to 10.4 (higher than the corresponding clear-sky UVI value). Additionally, the UVI presented values higher than 10 (extreme erythemal risk) for about 20 min running, with a maximum value around 11.5. The use of an empirical model and the total ozone column (TOC) derived from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) for the period 1995-2011 showed that the value of UVI ~ 11.5 is substantially larger than the highest index that could origin the natural TOC variations over Granada. Finally, the UV erythemal dose accumulated during the period of 20 min with the extreme UVI values under broken cloud fields was 350 J/m2 which surpass the energy required to produce sunburn of the most human skin types.
- Pub Date:
- November 2012