Schrödinger's cat thought experiment roughly says a cat in a box is both alive and dead until someone opens the box to discover which it is.
The media covering hurricane Francis, and all hurricanes that look like they have a reasonable chance of destructive behavior, are kinda like the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment. They always blow these things out of proportion. They do it, I think, for a couple of reasons. One is, it could be bad and they want to help the government scare people into leaving and the second is...it could be bad.
But, before the thing hits, the hurricane is both the worst possible thing and a fizzle. Nobody knows until someone looks in the box...arrival of said hurricane
is the opening of the box in order to see if the cat is dead or alive. The hurricane can either be the worst possible hurricane and a nothing burger or anywhere in between.
The media chooses to report it as if it's the worst thing possible because they like to sensationalize stuff and if they wait until the thing turns or fizzles out...it can't be the worst thing possible. By going with the worst hurricane ever scenario...they can do their "the world is coming to an end", frenzied, sensationalized, reporting...before they can't.
and then there is the thing about scaring people out...which is a noble cause if for no other reason than to keep first responders from having to go out and rescue your stupid in situ ass.