Since we opened this commentary with mention of the power of the Gulf Stream, lets deal with that one first. The Gulf Stream plays a great part in keeping the Southeastern coast warmer than it otherwise might be. Just look at winters in the area and it is quickly noted how Southern Maryland, the Tidewater in Virginia and North Carolina and the Low Country of South Carolina as well as Coastal Georgia is significantly warmer than the inland parts of those states due to the Gulf Stream. It also pays a major part in the British Isles being wet in the winter, yet nearly not as icy as it would otherwise be from a look at its northern latitude. The warm water is constant, allowing some of the hottest water of the Gulf of Mexico to depart and be replaced by warming water moving in from the Caribbean. Otherwise, the Gulf of Mexico would have no way to moderate her temperature and it would become a real steamer for sure. So, as a great Atlantic storm heads west and approaches the United States east coast, unless a powerful Bermuda high remains constant, blocking the natural turn with strong winds from the east pushing the storm westward, the storm will naturally turn to the north. If the high stays active in place without weakening, the storm will hit Florida or further south and likely then northern Mexico, Texas or the Gulf Coast.
Secondly, we need to look at the curvature or the earth and the impact of it's eastward rotation. Since the earth is like a giant beach ball, the natural turning of the globe as the storm moves westward will tend to naturally turn the storm to the north to follow the shortest line on the curve. Likewise, when it moves northward, the same impact will ultimately then will move it north and east, following the curvature. The Southern Hemisphere does just the opposite to stay on the shortest path as well. The exception to storm motion rule in the Northern Hemisphere would be the impact of a strong high pressure holding it on the westward path since high pressure has much more power than a low. When it weakens, however, the turn to the north or east begins just like in the Gulf Stream example. The power of the warm water and the curvature of the earth, when left to their own power absent any other impacting forces, will always win the battle for where the storm goes. The inability to be more capable to depict the placement or duration of high pressure systems is the gorilla in the mist which can upset the two other natural factors.
This brings us to the third and thus far unnamed factor, that being geography. Geography explains why Cape Hatteras in the North Carolina Outer Banks is such a tempting target. Just look at a map of the Eastern Seaboard and it is clear how the cape juts out as if it is sticking its jaw out to a prizefighter, daring him to take a swing. And while that prizefighter, like the storm itching for a fight, often does so, the nature of the people and their history on the Outer Banks are as survivors. But as long as hurricanes approach the Eastern Seaboard without the interference of other influences than the ones here discussed, those fragile North Carolina barrier islands will always be a prime target. Furthermore, with the collision of the southerly moving cold Labrador Current and the larger, but slower northward motion of the warm Gulf Stream, that collision will be extremely violent in times of storms. So, if you don't like to take risk and want to be more certain of a time at the beach that is peaceful, not violent and fraught with danger, don't plan a visit to the Outer Banks in prime hurricane season. The odds are nearly as great that a storm will hit as they are for not doing so. And even in off season, violent nor'easters can often pack a similar wallop just not as often noticed out of season. Whatever your pleasure, choose accordingly and may God be with those folks as the storm continues to draw near. Don't say you haven't been warned.