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 wxpics@wvua7.com

Laura Radford
WVUA Weather

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