I have to admit - I have used the term "dog days of summer" many times in my day but I am not exactly sure what it means or when said days actually are.

It turns out the phrase has nothing to do with your dog. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the name comes from something a bit more scientific. They note that the "dog days of summer" once collided with "the year’s heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius." People at that time thought that the combination heat of Sirius and the sun were responsible for the heat.

Ancient Egyptians also used Sirius as a "watchdog" of sorts for the Nile River's flood season, which happened when it started to get warm outside. That also contributes to the phrase.

Of course, the Dog Star does not actually have any impact on the weather but it is interesting to see where it got its name.

So when exactly are the dog days of summer? The Old Farmer's Almanac says they usually start on July 3rd and end August 11th, making for about a 40 day span. This stretch also coincides with the rise of the Dog Star, Sirius. It also happens shortly after the first day of summer.

It is all coming together now! By the way, a heat wave will be in full swing this weekend so make sure you are staying hydrated and limiting your time outdoors until things calm down a bit.

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