Earl is a Category 4 storm again, and the National Hurricane Center has issued watches and warnings up and down the mid-Atlantic coast. As Eric Berger explains, this doesn't mean that Earl is currently forecast to actually make a direct landfall on the East Coast. It's just that in light of the uncertainties, we can't completely rule it out, and even without a direct landfall, a storm this strong could cause some damage. Earl is big, powerful, and even capable of some further strengthening over very, very warm waters. As for the D.C. area, it doesn't look like we have anything serious to worry about yet.