I ran across a post on Reddit Wednesday that was strangely timed. It asked, "Why do people continue to live in areas where there are tornadoes?"

Now, I grew up in southern Alabama where hurricanes and tornadoes were a regular threat. When I was a child, I asked my mom the same question. And on the surface, it's a fair question. Why not live somewhere where we aren't at risk of losing everything because of a random, uncontrollable occurrence?

Well, the answer is that you can't control everything and there are threats everywhere, even when you live somewhere that doesn't typically deal with these types of things.

Michigan is the least impacted state by natural disasters in the entire country. Tuesday evening saw a trio of tornadoes sweep through the southwest corner of the state, destroying homes and businesses that likely never expected to see such an event.

97.9 WGRD logo
Get our free mobile app

The strange thing about weather is that it's seemingly equal parts predictable and unpredictable. Sure, we can see an intense storm coming to the area with the potential for a tornado, but when it unleashes what happened Tuesday, it's hard to say anyone saw that coming.

Thankfully, the area was well prepared. It appears there were no casualties and businesses and organizations stepped up to lend a helping hand to those in need.

But I can't help to think that the area may need to stay prepared. What causes a storm like this to come through our area and is that formula something that will be more common?

The fact is that Southwest Michigan had its warmest winter ever in 2023-24 according to the National Weather Service. Back in March when tornadoes swept through the lower Midwest of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio a meteorologist pointed to that warm winter (which affected the whole country) as a big reason why the storm happened so early.

I've lived here for two winters and every Michigander I've met has told me I haven't experienced a true Michigan winter yet. Michigan's winters are getting milder - and summers are getting hotter.

Michigan's climate is changing - ask anyone whose livelihood is reliant on the weather. If this is the way it's changing, it could mean more tornadoes.

Look, I'm not a meteorologist much less a scientist - I'm a writer and a citizen in a place that just got hit in the jaw and is still standing on its feet. Even still, worse events have happened in Michigan's history, both in the number of tornadoes and financial damage.

Despite what I gather from the weather trends for the area, I certainly hope Southwest Michigan doesn't have to worry about tornadoes regularly.

A scientist or mother nature itself can answer the headline's question one day.

You can help us spread the word of businesses providing aid and assistance here.

Needs & Assistance From May 7th Tornado in SouthWest Michigan

Tornado Damage in Southwest Michigan on May 7th, 2024


More From 97.9 WGRD