What are the Dog Days of Summer?
We have all heard of the "Dog Days of Summer" but what are they and when do they occur?
Well, like many things we can thank the ancient Romans and Greeks for this yearly period The star Sirius which is known as the dog star and is part of the constellation Canis Major is the brightest star in the night sky which made it very easy for ancient astronomers to view. During July and early August, the star rises and sets along with the sun. This often coincided with extremely hot weather and droughts. The star is so bright that they thought that it contributed to the hot weather we experienced during this period. Because of this, they referred to this period as the "Dog Days"
(Left: The Star Sirius, Right: The constellation Canis Major as seen during the winter months)
Flash forward to modern-day we know that climatologically most places in the Northern Hemisphere see their hottest period of the summer from July into early August so it makes much more sense why we see some of the hottest weather of the year during this time. The period from July into August is still known as the "Dog Days of Summer" thanks to the same correlation of the star and heat seen in the Northern Hemisphere.