Pat Shingleton: "The Dog Days"
Canis Major or Sirius was designated the “Dog Star” by ancient astronomers. Romans believed that because Sirius rose before or at sunrise they were convinced this star was the cause of hot, sultry weather. To appease the rage of Sirius and believing that the star caused the pattern, they sacrificed a brown dog which began the reference – Dog Days. Ancient Rome catalogued the Dog Days from July 24 through August 24 and The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional timing as the 40 days from July 3 to August 11. Since June 20, the sun has reached its highest point and slowly begins its track toward the equator. From now through September we will be alert for 100 degree readings. Traditionally we record ninety, 90 degree days for the Summer months and last year we logged 115 days.