Can You Get a Sunburn in March in Minnesota?
We're set to enjoy some above-average temperatures with lots of sunshine this weekend, but is it too early to get a sunburn here in Minnesota?
Getting a severe sunburn is not fun. I remember years ago when I was a kid-- well before all the various sunscreens we have now were a thing-- I spent pretty much ALL day out in the sun while at our cabin on Trout Lake, up north in Wisconsin. The pain of the burn and chills I got that night were nothing compared to the itchiness that followed as that burn peeled!
You'd think I would have learned, but back when I was a few years out of college, I spent most of a sunny, warm Saturday in early spring outside, broadcasting live at a pet walk and fundraiser for the local humane society. Again, I didn't wear sunscreen, and while I didn't get much of a sunburn, I made it worse the next day by heading to a Chicago Cubs game and sitting in the bleacher seats in the outfield at Wrigley Field-- again in the direct sun without much sunscreen. That gave me another pretty severe, painful sunburn that took about a week to heal.
Since then, I've really taken care to not get TOO much sun. This time of year, in the early spring and after a long, cold Minnesota winter, we all like to get a LITTLE sun, right? And while most of us don't think about it, did you know that even this early in the season, you CAN still get a sunburn?
It's true. And KSTP-TV meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas explained why, in a post on his Twitter page. It all has to do with the angle of the sun, which in the winter, isn't much of a concern because here in the northern hemisphere, the earth is tilted away from the sun. But, when we start getting closer to spring here in March, that starts to change. And right now, the angle of the sun in Minnesota is the same as it is in late September.
Which means, yes, you CAN get a sunburn right now-- or maybe, this weekend. Jonathon noted that without any sunblock, 60 minutes out in the sun in Minnesota can give you that familiar red burn. And, as Mayo Clinic notes that's not good:
Intense, repeated UV light exposure that results in sunburn increases the risk of other skin damage, such as dark spots, rough spots, and dry or wrinkled skin. It also raises the risk of skin cancers such as melanoma.
So, enjoy the warm, spring weather this weekend-- just make sure you're wearing sunscreen or are keeping yourself covered. And while just about ALL of us like the warmer weather we're experiencing right now, there are a few things about spring in Minnesota that we DON'T like. Keep scrolling to check out some things we'd rather NOT experience this spring!