RealTime IT News

Snow Storm Prompts Blizzard of Internet Traffic

As weather broadcasters began to breathlessly predict the largest snow storm in the last two years would hit the Eastern Seaboard by Thursday morning, a blizzard of traffic hit the two of the nation's top weather Internet sites.

According to AWS Convergence Technologies, more than 81,000 people in the last 24 hours downloaded its WeatherBug application, a free desktop weather service that streams live neighborhood weather conditions, while Weather.com, the online service of the Weather Channel, set new records on Tuesday with 4.9 million visitors and 49 million page views.

Additionally, the site saw a 250 percent increase in the number of daily subscribers to its premium services -- Notify! and Desktop Weather.

According to the Atlanta-based Weather Channel, Tuesday's numbers broke the previous one-day site numbers of 3.7 million visitors and 39.5 million page views set on Oct. 2 as Web surfers sought information on Hurricane Lili.

Officials at Weatherbug said its site numbers were also a record.

"Today we saw double the number of downloads than what we see on a typical day. We have never before seen such a sharp increase in registrations immediately prior to a major weather event. The spike is a milestone," said Andy Jedynak, WeatherBug's senior vice president and general manager.

According to comScore Media Metrix, an Internet audience measurement firm, WeatherBug is the top site on the Internet for weather information. The free desktop weather software application streams live neighborhood weather conditions, severe weather warnings, emergency alerts, forecasts to more than 16 million PC users' desktops. It is powered by AWS' nationwide network of 6,000 weather stations, which are based mostly at schools.

WeatherBug is promoted nationwide by local NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox television stations who partner with AWS to provide the service.

AWS also operates WeatherNet for Broadcast, which delivers weather information to more than 80 million U.S. households through partnerships with 100 local television stations; WeatherNet for Education, which provides weather information and educational tools to schools and colleges; and AWS Data Services, which uses AWS' weather network and software to provide services for vertical industries such as energy, retail, and transportation.

The Weather Channel launched its Desktop Weather application in 1991. The application lives in the users system tray where it displays a continuously updated, local temperature for the consumers preferred location. Once opened, it displays current conditions and detailed forecasts, including hourly reports and information on international locations.

Weather.com averages 350 million page views and 14 million unique users per month.