Weather Fundamentals

The Seasons

What are the “dog days” of summer

The “dog days” of summer comprise a period of extremely hot, humid, and sultry weather that traditionally occurs in the northern hemisphere in July and August (traditionally, the days run from July 3 through August 11). The term comes from the dog star, Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major. At this time of year, Sirius, the brightest visible star in the sky, rises in the east at the same time as the Sun. Ancient Egyptians believed that the heat of this brilliant star added to the Sun’s heat to create hotter weather. Sirius was blamed for everything from the withering droughts to sickness to the discomfort that occurred during this time.


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