Batten down for balmy days

Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013

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Pack a hat, and remember to slip, slop, slap and wrap. We are due nine balmy days in South Canterbury, starting from today.

MetService's extended forecast predicts sun and temperatures of 25 to 28 degrees Celsius for the district over the next nine days, possibly longer.

Today is expected to reach 26C, tomorrow 25C , and 27C is forecast for the following five days.

The news is pleasing for farmers who have been waiting patiently for crops to ripen so they can begin their harvest.

Federated Farmers Waimate branch chairman Colin Hurst said a fortnight of warm weather would help get the headers rolling.

"It will be very timely.

"This is exactly the type of weather [crop farmers] have been looking for."

He said the warm weather could also save farmers the expense of having to put their crop through a grain dryer, which has been the case in recent years.

"It's right at the start of [harvest] so if we've got good weather for the next 10 days it will be really good news."

He said now the crop farmers just need the forecast to be correct.

"If that forecast is correct that will be very welcome - that's for the farmers with harvest. The other farmers would like a bit of rain too, I suppose."

South Canterbury Cancer Society health promoter Kate Johnson encourages people to be sensible while enjoying the warm weather.

She advises people to use 30+ sunscreen, and to wear a wide brimmed hat and clothing that protects the skin.

"People have information and know what to do - it's time to actually do it.

"Sunburn and getting a tan is linked to skin cancer later in life, but [the] great thing is people can prevent this happening."

She said ultraviolet (UV) rays are also high on cloudy days.

"Whether the sun is out or not, or whether the temperature is hot or cold is not a predictor of sunburn. It is the UV rays that burn your skin and in New Zealand we have high levels throughout September to April."

She said UV is most intense at noon, but burning can happen any time if skin is not protected.

About 350 people die from skin cancer a year and about 60,000 skin cancers are diagnosed each year, giving New Zealand one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world, she said.

Key times to protect yourself from the sun is from September to April, between 10am and 4pm "every day".

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- The Timaru Herald

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