"The Dog Days Of Summer" describes the hottest time of the season.
The ancient Romans referred to this as such to identify the hottest period of the summer months. So hot, in fact, the dogs were said to "go mad."
As you know, heat waves can occur at any time of year and can take place anywhere in the world. As of July 2022, 28 states, extending from California to New Hampshire, have been under "excessive heat warnings and heat advisories," according to the National Weather Service.
Eureka Springs, too, has hit some serious dog days.
According to The Farmer's Almanac, "the phrase is actually a reference to the fact that, during this time, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star visible from any part of Earth and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Greater Dog.
This is why Sirius is sometimes called the Dog Star.
The dog’s head is formed by a triangle of medium-bright stars to Sirius’ upper left, but those are near the limit of visibility in urban skies. Nose to tail, the constellation covers about 19° or two fist diameters. From ears to paws, he spans about one fist diameter. The rest of the dog’s body, composed of more easily visible stars, extends to the lower left of Sirius.
In the summer, Sirius rises and sets with the Sun. In mid-July, this rising is in conjunction with the Sun.
Because the star is so bright, the ancient Romans believed it actually gave off heat and added to the Sun’s warmth, accounting for the long stretch of sultry weather which is why they referred to this time as diēs caniculārēs, or “dog days.”
Thus, the term "The Dog Days of Summer" came to mean the 20 days before and 20 days after this alignment of Sirius with the Sun . . ."
"Heatwaves similar to those observed this year are expected to become more frequent and severe in the years to come, both in Europe and further afield," said Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service.
Over 65 million people across the USA have been under heat alerts, with triple-digit heat indexes -- or "feels like" temperatures -- happening in cities including Dallas; St. Louis; Memphis, Little Rock, Birmingham, Atlanta; and Raleigh.
While this is often the hottest time of the summer, publications like the Farmer's Almanac has stated that the dog days occur between July 3 and Aug. 11 each year.
But the fact is that Sirius doesn't rise and set with the sun until mid-August now. So, this heat wave we've been having for weeks already could last until the end of August or even into the start of September. . . but let's hope it doesn't.
Check out this blog-post that I published at the end of July 2019. This one talks more about caring for our lovable fur babies in the heat.
Stay cool friends! ❤️