Graphic lifted & adapted from the WFTS-TV website.

Depression Number 9

I’ve got The Beatles’ “Revolution Number 9" playin’ in the background:

“Number 9. Number 9. Number 9. Number 9. Number 9 …”

Why?

Hermine. That’s why …

Who’s Hermine?

A storm. Heading my way. Though, officially, she’s not Hermine — yet.

She’s Tropical Depression Number 9.

Here’s what Sara DiNAtale at TBO.com wrote last night:

“At 5 p.m., forecasters still hadn’t named the system, Depression Nine, as a tropical storm. Instead, they issued a hurricane watch for a wide swath of the Gulf Coast, from Gulf County on the Panhandle to the Anclote River in northern Pinellas County.”

In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m in the “swath,” just above northern Pinellas, but well below the Panhandle, an ever-changing target area some of us locals like to call “The Cone of Uncertainty.”

How uncertain is the “The Cone of Uncertainty”?

Let me tell you about Charley — the storm, not my Greek brother-in-law.

According to WIKI, “Hurricane Charley was the third named-storm, the second hurricane, and the second major hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season.”

As I remember it, Bay area weatherman Denis Phillips of WFTS-TV was talking to Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, as a live tracking map of Charley was projected in the background. Suddenly, there was a tiny east-ward tick in the Hurricane’s movement. Phillips — known for his ready smile, meticulously manicured hair and eye-catching suspenders — noticed the minute motion and slipped out of interview mode like an oiled-up baby at a Greek baptism.

“I might be talking to the wrong mayor,” he said, prophetically.

He was right: That imperceptible hic-up indicated that Charley’s projected course had shifted from Tampa to Port Charlotte.

“It continued to the north-northeast along the Peace River corridor, devastating Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Cleveland, Fort Ogden, Nocatee, Arcadia, Zolfo Springs, Sebring, and Wauchula,” WIKI notes. “Zolfo Springs was isolated for nearly two days as masses of large trees, power poles, power lines, transformers, and debris filled the streets.”

Final toll: 10 deaths, $15.4 billion in damage.

As of 38 minutes ago (7 a.m.) WTFS-TV said, “Tropical Depression Nine could soon become a Tropical Storm.”

My neighborhood has been warned “to take precautions with flood waters.”

I’ve got The Beatles’ “Rain” playin’ in the background:

“If the rain comes they run and hide their heads 
They might as well be dead 
If the rain comes, if the rain comes.”

That’s my theme song for the next few days — either that or “Stormy Weather.”

NEXT: The Sunshine State

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