These are the so-called Dog Days: the hottest, stickiest days of the year.
The term is meant to convey that, at least weather-wise, these are the worst of times.
The term actually comes from the prominence of Sirius, the Dog Star, in the skies during July and August. I’m not much of an astronomy guy, so I’ll just accept that at face value. (For the record, I’m not much of an astrology guy, either. Fortune cookies, though? A different matter altogether.)
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