Weekly Wrap Up: Destructive Storms Rumble Across US, Tropics Remain Active

A widespread outbreak of severe weather slammed a large portion of the U.S. early in the week, extending from the Gulf Coast to the Tennessee Valley.

The fierce, and deadly storms, spawned tornadoes, caused widespread power outages and damaged homes and structures in their path.

"While October severe weather outbreaks are not unheard of, this one still managed to be rather robust, with multiple confirmed tornadoes and an abundance of wind damage," AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.

The Associated Press reported that one person died and four were injured in Arkansas after storms swept across the state. One Alabama woman died after a tree crashed onto her mobile home amid the destructive storms.

A double-decker tour bus flipped on its side on Interstate 65 in Indiana around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, injuring more than a dozen people, the Associated Press reported. Weather observations in central Indiana at the time showed that rain was falling in the area.

Following the fierce storms, heavy rain inundated areas from the Ohio Valley to the Carolinas through Wednesday before moving into the northeastern U.S. Thursday.

In the central Pacific, Tropical Storm Ana gained strength this week and was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Friday.

Hawaii will still face some hazards this weekend despite the likelihood of escaping a direct hit by Ana.

In the Atlantic, Gonzalo strengthened Wednesday morning to become the first Category 4 hurricane, with winds of at least 209 kph (130 mph), in the Atlantic Basin since Ophelia in 2011.

After lashing the northern Lesser Antilles, Gonzalo intensified to become a major hurricane.

Gonzalo unleashed torrential rain and damaging winds to Antigua and other islands of the northern Lesser Antilles earlier in the week.

In the wake of Fay, Gonzalo continued to threaten lives and property in Bermuda Friday afternoon. During early September 2003, Hurricane Fabian brought sustained winds of 120 mph and a peak gust of 164 mph to Bermuda. There were four fatalities in Bermuda with damage over $100 million (U.S.).

The Atlantic is behind the curve for the average number of named tropical systems. After about a three-week lull, Fay and Gonzalo recently brought the number of named storms to seven. On average, there are nine named systems over the Atlantic by the middle of October.