Modern day weather forecasting is still not very good. Last year the Weather Service missed two of them coming at us here in central Florida. Didn't get a drop of rain or a breeze from either. They evacuated the east coast, then the storm turned north. Better safe than sorry, I guess, but the point is the forecast was still wrong.
The "Great Unnamed Storm" of March, 1993 (Ithink it was '93) caught everyone off guard, even though the weather people say they saw it coming. I think they are just covering their butts. In any case the word did not trickle down to tho populace.
This is not really a knock at the weather service. The tools are just not there to accurately predict a storm's path. Next time there is a storm in the Atlantic go to a weather service site and see how the different models vary. Read the forecasters comments and you will see that with the widely and wildly different predictions, the "official" one is just a SWAG.
The site I use mostly is http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/