LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Lots of sunshine in the forecast means a high UV index.

The UV Index, or ultraviolet light index, is used to measure the strength of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

That radiation is actually what causes sunburn, and we use sunscreen to help protect our skin against those harmful UV rays.

But did you know that the sun emits three different types of UV radiation?

There’s UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C radiation.

UV-C radiation doesn’t reach the surface of the earth, instead, it is blocked by the ozone layer of the atmosphere.

UV-A rays from the sun can seep through the top layer of our skin, and can cause our skin cells to age prematurely, while UV-B rays only reach the outer layer of your skin, and the main rays that cause sunburn.

It’s important to understand the different levels of the UV index to tell how intense the sun’s rays will be on a particular day.

The UV Index is on a scale of one to 11, and the higher the intensity of the UV radiation, the worse the sunburn you could possibly get.

An index of one or two is usually safe, as the sun’s rays aren’t very strong, so you can stay outside with minimal protection from the sun.

Three to five is still a low risk, but with the index in this range it’s a good idea to start wearing sunscreen while outside in the afternoon.

Six to 10 is high to very high, this is when you will want to wear sunscreen almost throughout the entire day. And potentially start to limit any outdoor activities.

Any UV Index at 11 or above, is extreme, so in this case, you are encouraged to use extreme caution outside as your skin could potentially burn within minutes, even with the help of sunscreen in certain cases.

Keep in mind that these ultraviolet rays are still present even as our temperature begins to cool down.