August 1969 was famous for the Woodstock Music Festival and infamous for Hurricane Camille. Both events occurred about the same time in mid-August. In Upper Michigan, the first genuine heat wave of that summer occurred.
August 1969 was Upper Michiganâ??s turned the tide after a cool beginning. June was a chilly 4.7 degrees below average, while July brought a miserable Independence Day weekend. On the Friday the Fourth, the high reached 65, but then the next two days saw high temperatures only in the 50s.
But August started mild and heated up. By mid-month a string of three 90-degree days was observed in Marquette culminating in a 94-degree high in Marquette on October 17thâ??the day Hurricane Camille plowed into the Mississippi Coast. It really cooled off after that. A record low of 36 was recorded at the National Weather Service (NWS) site near Negaunee the morning of August 21st. Then another heat blast began the very next day as an upper-level ridge built in from the west. Record highs of 91 degrees were set at the NWS the next two days. Another temporary cooling occurred followed by yet another blast of heat to round out the month.
Down the hill in the City of Marquette, August 1969 brought six days with highs of 90 or above. The hottest daylight actually occurred on August 30 with a blistering 95 degrees. August 1969 ended five degrees above average--one of the warmest eighth months on record. The wild swings in temperature were enhanced by dry soil. August 1969 produced 0.53 inches of rain in Marquetteâ??only 18 percent of normal.