Hourly UV Index values at 45 sites in Canada and 52 in the USA were estimated using a statistical relationship between UV irradiance and global solar radiation, total ozone, and dew point temperature. The estimation method also takes into account the enhancement of UV irradiance by snow using an empirical correction derived from Brewer UV measurements. Different characteristics of the UV Index distribution over North America were estimated from the derived UV irradiance for the period 1979-1987 and then presented in the form of monthly maps. Brewer UV measurements at 11 Canadian and 20 US sites and erythemal UV estimates from TOMS data were used for validation. Direct comparisons with Brewer measurements at 7 Canadian sites for the period in the 1990s when both pyranometer and spectral UV data were available demonstrated agreement within 2-3 percent except for periods of melting snow when variations in snow albedo yield higher errors in the derived UV irradiance.