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Jeff Harrington tells us that until the summer solstice, sunburns will be plenty.

Sun facts: Here's why you need sunblock every day


Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Friday, May 20, 2016, 3:00 AM - Although it may not be a scorcher this long weekend, it's important to never underestimate the sun.

In fact, your risk of getting a sunburn this weekend is likely because the sun's rays are just as powerful now as late July.

"The simple science behind this is that with it now approaching the summer solstice, the solar angle is steadily increasing. More and more direct solar radiation will be reaching the surface of the northern hemisphere, eventually attaining a maximum on the solstice itself. After the solstice, the solar angle drops at roughly the same rate as it was increasing," says The Weather Network meteorologist Brett Soderholm.


 RELATED: Check the UV report for your city 


The maximum solar angle will occur on June 21 and this means the solar angle a month before or a month later will be roughly identical, explains Soderholm. For example, the solar angle will be the same on May 21 as July 21.

When the sun is most directly overhead, its rays have the least distance to travel through the atmosphere and the rays are more intense, being focused on a smaller area.

However, a high solar angle does not necessarily equate to high temperatures.

For instance, temperatures in southern Ontario are expected to be slightly below seasonal this weekend. However, the angle of the sun is still high, meaning the rays are taking a more direct path towards Earth.

So, the moral of the story is to apply sunblock this weekend.

About 76,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancers and 4,200 melanoma skin cancers are now diagnosed each year in Canada, according to Environment Canada. In addition, the number of new cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year in the country has more than tripled over the past 20 years. This is largely a result of poor sun protection practices.

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