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Severe Weather Returns to US This Halloween Week

While the preliminary tornado count for 2013 is historically low, severe weather will ramp up across the United States this Halloween week.

What will become an active Halloween week kicked off Sunday morning with gusty thunderstorms knocking out power to tens of thousands around the Houston area.

Severe thunderstorms will return late Monday afternoon and evening to Kansas and neighboring parts of northern Oklahoma and the eastern Texas Panhandle.

Cities within this zone include Gage, Okla., and Dodge City, Wichita and Russell, Kan.

The strongest thunderstorms during this time will be capable of producing damaging winds, hail and flooding downpours. A tornado or two could also touch down and cause destruction.

More severe weather will follow Tuesday through Thursday as a potent storm emerges from the Rockies and tracks eastward across the United States. This is the same storm bringing a blizzard to the northern Rockies.

Late Tuesday afternoon and evening, severe thunderstorms will ignite from West Texas to central Kansas. The danger will shift to central and northern Texas, eastern Kansas, western Missouri and southern Iowa on Wednesday.

Wichita will once again be at risk for violent thunderstorms on Wednesday, along with Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Kansas City.

As will be the case late Monday, the greatest concerns from the thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday will be damaging winds, flooding downpours and frequent lightning.

Residents and visitors should also stay alert for a few isolated tornadoes and some hail.

On Thursday, the storm will be responsible for gusty and drenching thunderstorms from the Great Lakes to the western Tennessee Valley. The strength of the winds could still be great enough to cause power outages and tree damage.

The threat for flooding downpours also extends to the western Gulf Coast, including Houston, this day.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists will be monitoring the potential for gusty winds to accompany the rain headed to the Northeast Thursday night and Friday.

Since widespread tornadoes are not expected, the severe weather this Halloween week will not change this year's preliminary tornado count from being historically low.

The below graphic from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center shows that the preliminary tornado count through Oct. 26, 2013 (656) is significantly less than the previous minimal value (776) observed during the same time.

As the graphic states, the preliminary count for 2013 has been multiplied by 0.85 to remove erroneous extra reports.

AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait attributes the low tornado count to the fact that, "we kept having cold air from Canada undercutting warm air, which inhibits tornadoes."

"There were a few exceptions to that situation, which lead to notable tornadoes. But overall, the tornado count was very low," Strait continued.