Dog days of summer settling in across South Texas


    SAN ANTONIO---It's not uncommon to see highs in South Texas hover around the century mark in mid July. But this year has been a little different. We've had a couple of breaks from the heat because of some rainfall that soaked our ground and along with the extra cloud cover kept our temperatures around the 90 degree mark which people from around here will tell you that's not too bad.

    Because here's the thing, we're just getting started with our summer heat. We affectionately call August and the first part of September the "dog days of summer". It's when our highs will hit the century mark on a regular basis and the heat index values each afternoon are between 105-110.

    Many people believe the phrase “dog days of summer" stems from the fact that dogs tend to be a bit on the lazy side during the hottest days of summer. Of course, who can blame them? With that much fur, dogs that exercise during the hot days of summer can overheat easily.

    However, the phrase doesn't stem from lazy dogs lying around on hot and humid days. Instead, to find the answer, we only need to look to the summer sky.

    The ancient Romans called the hottest, most humid days of summer “di?s canicul?r?s" or “dog days." The name came about because they associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius. Sirius was known as the “Dog Star" because it was the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog). Sirius also happens to be the brightest star in the night sky.

    Sirius is so bright that the ancient Romans thought it radiated extra heat toward Earth. During the summer, when Sirius rises and sets with the Sun, they thought Sirius added heat to the Sun's heat to cause hotter summer temperatures.

    For the ancient Romans, the dog days of summer occurred from about July 24 to around August 24. Over time, though, the constellations have drifted somewhat. Today, The Old Farmer's Almanac lists the traditional timing of the dog days of summer as being July 3 until August 11.

    Rain chances remain slim into August too. Most of our opportunities come from either a tropical storm or hurricane that hits along the Texas coast and then drives rain over South Texas. The only other chance might come from some Sea-breeze showers that work their way towards us in the afternoon.

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