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NSF Polar Programs UV Monitoring Network
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UV bulletins are short reports on current UV levels at NSF network locations. They are posted bi-weekly between September and December when the "ozone hole" is affecting UV levels at our Austral sites.

Bulletin 5/2008, issued 12/19/08
Reporting period: 11/25/08 - 12/18/08

Total ozone values were unusually low for this part of the year and led to marked spikes in UV irradiance at McMurdo and South Pole. UV intensities at Palmer fluctuated about the long-term mean. Ushuaia was affected by the ozone hole only on 28 November. UV intensities at this site significantly exceeded the long-term mean for most days in December.

As of 18 December, total ozone is still below 220 DU for some regions of the Antarctic continent, according to measurements by OMI. These low values are unusual for this time of the year as the ozone hole typically disintegrates before mid-December. Spikes in UV radiation may still occur during the next week if pockets of low-ozone air were to move over network sites.

McMurdo Station, Antarctica:
Total ozone at McMurdo varied between 210 and 325 DU according to measurements by OMI and the station's GUV radiometer. UV levels showed large variations during the reporting period. The maximum daily UV Index was between 2.5 and 6.2. (The long-term mean calculated from measurements of the last 18 years is 4.1.) On 7-8 and 14-15 December, the maximum daily UV Index was between 5.5 and 6.2. These values were the highest ever measured on these days.

Palmer Station, Antarctica:
Total ozone at Palmer was below 250 DU up to 28 November and above 250 DU thereafter. UV intensities were below the long-term average between 28 November and 4 December and varied about the climatological mean for the remainder of the reporting period. The daily maximum UV Index was between 2.3 (30 November) and 9.2 (27 November); the long-term mean is 5.3. The historical record UV Index for December is 14.3 and was measured on 3-December 1998.

South Pole, Antarctica:
Total ozone at the South Pole varied between 170 and 250 DU. UV intensities were considerably above climatological mean values. The UV Index varied between 2.1 (on 3 December) and 3.4 (on 9 and 13 December); the long-term mean is 2.2. UV Indices observed between 6 and 15 December exceeded measurements of the years 1991-2006 by about 40% on average. Intensities of similar magnitude were only observed in 2007 when the break-up of the ozone hole was also unusually late.

Ushuaia, Argentina:
There are no SUV-100 measurements available for this period. Data is based on measurements of the GUV-511 radiometer.
Ushuaia was outside the ozone hole area with the exception of 27 November when the edge of the ozone hole passed over the city and total ozone dropped to 225 DU. Total ozone varied between 250 and 330 DU for the remainder of the period. UV intensities measured during the reporting period were close to historical record values. The daily maximum UV Index ranged between 5.3 and 10.0. The long-term average is 6.2 and the highest UV Index ever observed in December is 10.7.

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