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A tornado struck Michigan, resulting in the death of a toddler, while storms in Ohio and Maryland injured at least 13 people

Several trees slammed into a structure (Via Robin Bates/Shutterstock)

A tornado hit suburban Detroit earlier this week, knocking down trees that crashed through Abby Sata’s family home, causing water to pour in.

Despite a large crane removing trees from the house now, fortunately, no one was injured. The tornado damaged Sata’s home in Livonia, Michigan, sweeping through multiple neighborhoods and toppling a tree that tragically killed a toddler on Wednesday.

The tornado formed so rapidly that there was no warning from the National Weather Service or others that would typically trigger sirens.

Sata, 21, received a storm warning on her phone but had no indication that a tornado was imminent.

“I was stunned,” she said. “Having even a few seconds’ notice would have been very helpful.”

The tornado in Livonia “developed almost as quickly as it dissipated,” said Jaclyn Anderson, a meteorologist at the Detroit office of the National Weather Service.

Part of a downed tree is tangled in power lines (Via Robin Bates/Shutterstock)

This type of tornado is known for its brief and weak nature, traveling approximately 5 miles in its path. Anderson explained that more powerful tornadoes from intense storms can be anticipated and warnings issued because they can stay on the ground for longer distances, ranging from 30 to over 100 miles.

Despite significant advancements in tornado forecasting equipment over the past few decades, which combine weather radar and local observations, Anderson noted that brief tornadoes remain challenging to forecast and warn about.

Victor Gensini, an associate professor at Northern Illinois University who studies tornadoes and extreme weather, explained that forecasters analyze various weather elements daily to predict tornadoes. However, sometimes these conditions occur on a small scale, like a sudden wind coming off a lake.

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