The 'Dog Days' of Summer have struck and it feels like we are stuck in a cycle of smoldering hot afternoons, with little relief in sight.

'Dog Days' is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11th. It was called that in ancient times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean. The period was reckoned as extending from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun.

In West Texas, it means a string of long hot days just before we all gear up for back to school shopping. It's also the time we end up using the last of our accrued vacation days trying to stay cool at the lake or the nearest water park.

Dangerously hot temperatures will continue for at least the next 10 days with almost no relief in sight; our best chance of rain happens today and tomorrow afternoon.

Use precautions when working out in this heat, drink plenty of fluids, Cover exposed skin to prevent sunburn, use sunscreen and don't over exert. Also make sure that your pets have plenty of shade and plenty of water to stay cool during these 'dog days' of Summer.