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Culture

Weather Web sites get sunny ratings from Floyd

As Hurricane Floyd tore through the eastern seaboard this week, popular weather Web sites witnessed a flood in traffic numbers.

As Hurricane Floyd tore through the eastern seaboard this week, popular weather Web sites witnessed a flood in traffic numbers.

The strong showing for these sites is yet another indication that people are turning

Hurricane Floyd and the Web
Date Web site Page Views
9/13 Weather.com
Yahoo Weather
MSNBC.com
3,159,689
1,020,707
1,726,196
9/14 Weather.com
Yahoo Weather
MSNBC.com
NOAA.gov
4,435,573
1,118,275
2,259,065
1,861,290
9/15 Weather.com
Yahoo Weather
MSNBC.com
NOAA.gov
6,852,248
1,264,626
3,718,827
1,677,412
9/16 Weather.com
Yahoo Weather
MSNBC.com
NOAA.gov
3,966,498
1,110,770
3,951,488
788,046
Source: Nielsen/NetRatings Overnight Analysis, September 1999
to the Web for immediate information when breaking events and catastrophes occur, according to a study conducted by online audience measurement firm Nielsen/NetRatings.

Top weather sites including Weather.com, Yahoo Weather, MSNBC, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Web site showed dramatic surges in Net users, according to Nielsen/NetRatings' special report. This was especially the case Wednesday, when Floyd threatened to move closer to shore.

The study added that major events, such as natural catastrophes and large sporting events, often result in traffic spikes for Web sites. During these events, not only does traffic increase, but the time a user remains at a single site also increases, as does the overall number of page views.

Weather.com was the big winner for Floyd coverage, with its traffic jumping from 2.3 percent of all Web users September 13 to 3.6 percent of all users September 15.