Rare tornado in Livonia results in fatality and damage, Michigan

noaa goes-east satellite image at 1930 utc on june 5 2024 during livonia michigan tornado

A rare EF-1 tornado struck Livonia, Michigan on June 5, 2024, causing significant damage and resulting in one fatality. The tornado, which lasted nine minutes, downed trees and damaged homes across a path of 8.8 km (5.5 miles).

On June 5, 2024, a brief EF-1 tornado hit Livonia, Michigan, causing significant damage and claiming one life. The tornado touched down at approximately 15:30 local time (19:30 UTC) near the intersection of Schoolcraft Rd and Eckles Rd and traveled northeast through several neighborhoods, uprooting trees and damaging residential properties before lifting at 15:39 LT near 7 mi and Middlebelt Rd.

The tornado’s path length was 8.85 km (5.5 miles), with a maximum width of 411 m (450 yards) and estimated peak winds of 153 km/h (95 mph).

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Detroit reported that the tornado started 3.2 km (2 miles) east of Plymouth at 42.38° N, 83.43° W and ended 4.8 km (3 miles) northeast of Livonia at 42.43° N, 83.34° W.

“The Livonia Police Department offers its deepest condolences to the grieving family who lost their child in a tragic accident when a quick developing tornado struck multiple neighborhoods, causing a tree to fall on their home,” Livonia PD said on Facebook.

“These severe storms have created significant damage in several parts of our city, including Rotary Park, which will be closed until further notice. As we continue to assess the damage, please use extra caution and remember these important safety tips:

  • Stay at least 25 feet away from any downed power line and assume they are live. Contact DTE Energy’s 24-hour hotline at 800-477-4747 to report any issues with power or to report downed power lines.
  • Report any trees blocking roadways to the Livonia Police Department at 734-466-2470.
  • Drive carefully and treat intersections without power as a four way stop.

The Kirksey Recreation Center will be open as a temporary shelter for anyone who needs access to air conditioning, electricity to charge their phones, or water to take a shower.

This event was unusual as no tornado or severe thunderstorm watch was issued prior to its occurrence, despite a severe thunderstorm warning being in effect for neighboring Oakland County over half an hour earlier.

Jonathan Erdman, a senior meteorologist at weather.com, noted that the tornado occurred in a “marginal” environment for severe weather, with the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issuing a level 1 risk (the lowest on a scale of 1 to 5) for the area. The brief and subtle “notch” in a small line of thunderstorms led to the formation of the tornado, which lasted only nine minutes. This made it incredibly difficult for the NWS to issue a warning in real time.

The tornado’s impact was felt most severely near the intersection of Nola Rd and Lyndon Rd, where large trees were uprooted, and residential houses sustained damage. As it moved northeast into areas like Farmington and 6 mi, and through Rotary Park and Beverly Park, the tornado continued to down trees and snap large tree limbs, but the damage became more sporadic.

This tornado was one of 23 reported to the SPC on June 5, 2024, with other tornadoes occurring in Maryland (16), West Virginia (4), and Virginia (1). Michigan reported 2 tornadoes on June 5.

Erdman emphasized that even on marginal risk days, the potential for brief tornadoes exists, making it challenging to issue timely warnings and prepare residents effectively.

According to the State of Michigan, the state experiences an average of 15 tornadoes per year. Tornadoes can develop rapidly with little advanced warning, often giving residents an average lead time of just 10 to 15 minutes. Wind speeds in these events can exceed 322 km/h (200 mph), which is why Michigan residents are encouraged to prepare and make a plan before a tornado strikes.


1 Public Information Statement – NWS Detroit/Pontiac MI – 21:53 EDT on June 5, 2024

2 A Deadly Tornado Struck A Michigan Town. Here’s Why There Was No Warning. – Weather.com – June 6, 2024

3 Tornadoes – Michigan.gov – Accessed June 6, 2024


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