Storm Drives Surfers to Weather Sites

While the Eastern United states is still suffering the effects of the biggest snowstorm in recent years, weather websites are thrilled with their numbers -- Nielsen//NetRatings data shows a huge spike in traffic to various weather sites during the week ending February 16.

According to NetRatings, traffic to Accuweather.com surged 41% to 942,000 surfers at home, as compared to 670,000 surfers the previous week. WeatherUnderground.com attracted 783,000 surfers, rising 40%, while Intellicast.com jumped 34% in traffic to 398,000 surfers. The Weather Channel and Weatherbug.com, two of the biggest sites in this category, also recorded week-over-week growth, with 5.7 million surfers and 4.4 million surfers, respectively.

"With so many people snowed out of work and school, the Web served as an up-to-the minute source of news and weather information," said Greg Bloom, senior Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings.

Elsewhere on the web, it’s all about American Idol, Movies and Sports.

NetRatings says that the dismissal of popular "American Idol" contestant Frenchie Davis, drove traffic to TheSmokingGun.com, skyrocketing 211%, with the site leading the way as the fastest growing brand at home for the week ending Feb. 16th. The top story, detailing circumstances surrounding Davis' dismissal, attracted 33% of the site's 631,000 visitors. Traffic to the "American Idol" site jumped 30%t to 366,000 surfers compared to 281,000 the previous week.

The long weekend President's Day Weekend, combined with the "Daredevil" premier, drove traffic to various movie-ticketing sites. Fandango.com jumped 34% at home, for the week ending Feb. 16th, to 362,000 unique visitors. Movietickets.com grew 25% to 281,000 visitors, and Movies.com increased 8%, attracting 282,000 unique visitors at home.

Finally, various sporting events drove sports fans online for the week ending Feb. 16th. Nascar.com soared 75%t to more than one million unique visitors at work, as the Daytona 500 kicked off this season's Winston Cup. The 52nd NBA All-Star Game spiked traffic at work to the NBA Internet Network by 33%. Twenty percent of the site's 825,000 surfers visited the All-Star 2003 page. Traffic to MLB.com jumped 25% at work to 557,000 unique visitors, with pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training camp.

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