The Dog Days of Summer

The “Dog Days” of summer have arrived. This popular saying refers to the hottest and most oppressive days of the season. Varying by latitude around the globe, they traditionally run from July 3rd to August 11th in the United States.

Rooted in astronomy, this non-technical weather phrase is linked to Sirius – the Dog Star.  During most of July and August, Sirius rises and sets with our Sun.  As one of the brightest stars in the night sky, ancient Greeks and Romans believed its conjunction with the Sun added extra heat to the summer months, causing temperatures to soar.  Today, we know that light from this distant star does not affect our weather, but the name has endured.