Winter sun is nice, but isn't very helpful to your health

NOW: Winter sun is nice, but isn’t very helpful to your health


Sunshine can be such a rare commodity during Michiana winters, so any sunny day is welcome.

Wednesday was a banner winter day, with sunshine and highs in the 40s across northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan.

However, don't expect the sun that does appear to help your health very much this season.

During the fall and winter months, it's impossible to get any vitamin D from the sun's rays if you live north of latitude 37 degrees N.

But, just because the sun can't "help" you, so to speak, doesn't mean it can't harm you.

You can still get a sunburn during the winter months. Compared to the summer when UV levels are much higher, it takes about four times longer to get a sunburn in January as opposed to July. However, that sunburn time could be cut to 30 minutes with fresh snow on the ground. 

Also, if you're planning on hitting the slopes this winter, you could get a sunburn very quickly. On the mountain, you'll have to deal with the sun reflecting off of the snow and the higher elevation (less atmosphere means faster burn times). Sometimes, you can actually get a sunburn faster on the slopes compared to on the beach in the summer.

Don't get me wrong: the sunshine is awesome this time of year, especially when it breaks through the "permacloud." 

However, this time of year, that mysterious yellow orb in the sky is mainly just for show.

Not that I'm complaining! 


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