The Dog Days of Summer

We are in the middle of the “dog days of summer” here in central Alabama which means it is hot and humid! To most of us, this is a phrase that we have heard all of our life but never really knew what it meant or where it came from. The saying is actually a very old expression dating back to the time of ancient Greek astronomy. The Greeks adopted this phrase because they related the hot, sultry weather with the visibility of the star Sirius, also know as the dog star, the brightest star in the sky during this time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The Greeks believed that the star was the cause of evil times. During these times each year, their people became sick and their seas boil. It was believed the start added to the heat making it feel hot and sultry. The well-known Old Farmer’s Almanac describes the dates of the “dog days” to begin on July 3rd lasting through to August 11th, although they can vary. The “dog days” do not exist in the Southern Hemisphere because Sirius can be visible at all times. But back here in Alabama, and much of the United States, we will be thinking more about the sun and the heat as opposed to the stars. Our weather team is now asking for you to send pictures of how your dog is beating the heat. Send your pictures to

Laura Radford
WVUA Weather

Wednesday Afternoon Discussion: 4:20 p.m.

Widely scattered thunderstorms have popped up over West and Central Alabama and this activity will linger into the evening hours tonight. A disturbance to our south, combined with an approaching boundary from the north, will help to trigger a good coverage of thunderstorms for tomorrow. Some of the storms may be on the strong or severe side, with gusty straight-line winds and hail.

Friday will be a mostly cloudy day, with another good coverage of rain and thunderstorms. Over the next couple of days the rainy weather will be more likely in the afternoon hours; however, a thunderstorm can’t be ruled out during the morning time frame. By the weekend a boundary will be in place just south of Tuscaloosa and this will be the main focus area for thunderstorm development. We will have more sunshine and hotter temperatures, with highs rising into the mid 90s. By Monday and Tuesday the afternoon thunderstorms will be few and far between, meaning another very hot start to the week.

The tropics are quiet right now, but there is a strong tropical disturbance just west of Africa. This system has the potential to further organize. We will keep you posted on the tropics, plus we will keep you posted on our chances for much needed rain. Have a great evening!



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Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist