So CNN is leading with the headline "Earl expected to cause 'destructive waves'". So what does this mean? We've been lulled into a false sense of security and it's suddenly strengthening? There is some kind of ersatz tsunami coming to the East coast? We need to evacuate now? Well no, if you read the story it really means that Earl is such a bust that "destructive waves" is all the hype that is left. The quote seemingly came from the state emergency management agency, along the lines of there could be a storm surge as it passes through.
All of this just doesn't help with the problem I previously discussed about having false positives for hurricanes. If we are to avoid another Katrina, we really need to differentiate the truly catastrophic hurricane from the "possibly bad" ones. This is a scientific problem but also a problem of information dissemination by officials.