WeatherTalk: Dog Days of summer are here

Sirius is a bright, early morning star seen this time of year.

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FARGO — The Dog Days of Summer are here. Ancient Romans referred to this stretch from late July through late August as the “dog days” because of Sirius, the Dog Star. Astronomers of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome noticed the correlation between the presence of Sirius and the latter days of summer when the hot weather is often at its most brutal and most tiresome.

Sirius is called the “dog star” because it is the brightest star of the constellation Canis Major — the big dog — which follows Orion — the great hunter — in the night sky. This time of year in our region, Sirius is a very bright, early morning star, which rises just ahead of the rising sun. Many ancients believed the proximity of this star to the sun at this time of year caused unhealthy summer weather.

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John Wheeler is Chief Meteorologist for WDAY, a position he has had since May of 1985. Wheeler grew up in the South, in Louisiana and Alabama, and cites his family's move to the Midwest as important to developing his fascination with weather and climate. Wheeler lived in Wisconsin and Iowa as a teenager. He attended Iowa State University and achieved a B.S. degree in Meteorology in 1984. Wheeler worked about a year at WOI-TV in central Iowa before moving to Fargo and WDAY..
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