Weather Facts: Dog days of summer

You’ve probably heard the term "The dog days of summer" used numerous times. FOX 7’s Zack Shields takes a look at what it really means and how the phrase came about over the years.

The phrase refers to the time between July 15 and August 15th. This is when the weather doesn't change much and it's the hottest and driest part of the year.

Mid-summer is called the dog days because the brightest star in Canis Major is Sirius also known as the big dog star. It's so bright in fact that the ancient Romans thought the star's light combined with the sun's energy gave us especially hot days.

But as we know the summer heat is not due to the added energy from a faraway star. It's hot this time of year because the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun receiving more direct sunlight.

Plus most of the summer, a huge dome of high pressure sets up shop over the state deflecting the rain and trapping in the heat.

This time of year we bank on the tropics to deliver some rain and break up the heat dome. With the tropics staying tranquil, the next few weeks still look warmer than average.

If you have a weather question feel free to email me at or check Zack out on Twitter and Facebook.

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