What are the ‘dog days’ of summer?
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We are wrapping up the official dog days of summer this Friday, but Kentucky hasn’t seen its typical warmth.
Formally, the “dog days” last from July 3 through August 11 and usually refers to a time when we see the hottest temperatures of the year.
According to WKYT meteorologist Jim Caldwell, “In a typical year, you are going to see highs close to 90 degrees, maybe beyond that, and a very high level of humidity.”
Kentucky recorded temperatures in the lower to mid-90s late this July, but the extreme heat missed the Bluegrass.
“We have been on the cusp of heat. We have been right there on the edge of some of the hottest temperatures in the country - they have been out in the plains, they have been out in the southwest. But we have been right there on the fringe,” Caldwell said. “We continue to see some of the cooler air moving in from the northeast, which is not a typical flow for us.”
In the peak of summer, the Sun lies in the same portion of the sky as a star called Sirius. Ancient Romans and Egyptians believed that the culprit for the summertime heat was the pairing of Sirius and the Sun in the sky. The star happens to be a part of the famous constellation Canis Major - a constellation of a dog. Hence the name “dog days” of summer was born, centralized the 20 days before and after the stars peak in the sky.
So, while the dog days for Kentucky have felt cooler this year, Caldwell says there is always next year.
“Anyone that has lived in Kentucky for a long enough time - they know how steamy it can get,” Caldwell said.
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