August – The Dog Days of Summer

Following the longest heat wave on record, the calendar has turned the page to the month of August. Some call the month of August the Dog Days of Summer This phrase goes back to varied stories centuries-old from the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans. And it’s just in time for a gorgeous, warm Seafair weekend. Many Northwesterners though have memories of rainy, dreary and downright cold Seafairs. Consider ourselves lucky this year. So here’s the story…

The term from all these early civilization stories is all tied to the rise of Sirius – by far the brightest star that follows Orion into the night sky. Also called the Dog Star, Sirius rises in the night sky in mid-July and is most prominent during August. You can see Sirius. It rises in the sky in the southeast during the hours after midnight and can be found in the southern sky at dawn.

These early civilizations blamed Sirius for the heat of the season, bringing as historians quote – discouraging heat and oppression. The Dog Star Sirius is 8.7 light years away from Earth and has no impact on our planet’s weather or temperature. Yet, those ancient civilizations saw the rise of the Dog Star and the hottest weather of the year as a cause and effect.

The phrase Dog Days of Summer has survived the test of time. Many European countries take long holidays during the month of August. Many Americans do as well.

Here in the North Sound, our warmest stretch of summer is from mid-July to mid-August before we start a slow cooling trend as the days get gradually shorter, and the nights longer. Our more moderate temperatures and lower humidity found with our Dog Days of Summer make it the best time to hike trails in the shade of trees, or safely enjoy our area waterways.

The weather outlook for this month is for good odds on warmer than average temperatures and around average precipitation that happens to be during the driest time of the year. Stay cool and enjoy a safe remainder of summer!

North Sound Meteorologist Ted Buehner worked more than 40 years for the National Weather Service (NWS) from 1977 to 2018. He is now an Everett Post Media team member. Together with Everett Post Weather Minute Podcasts, he provides morning and afternoon commute traffic and weather updates on both KRKO and KXA Radio, and sports reporting on KRKO.