Isabel rocks NOAA site like a hurricane

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Web site received more than 333 million hits from Sept. 16 to Sept. 19 due to Hurricane Isabel.

Greg Hernandez, NOAA's online editor, reported today that last week's traffic to www.noaa.gov shattered the site's previous record high. On Sept. 18, the day Isabel reached Virginia, the site established a new one-day mark with approximately 103.4 million hits — almost 40 percent of the Web portal's traffic in all of 2002.

Hernandez, who has managed the site since 1997, said that noaa.gov received 262 million hits in 2002.

At its peak last week, the site handled more than 3,000 hits per second, and reached a high of 9.5 million hits in a single hour.

The Sept. 18 totals show how Web traffic increased as the storm approached land. By comparison, the total number of hits for Monday, Sept. 15 was 10.7 million. The average is approximately 1.8 million hits on a "nonhurricane" day, Hernandez said.

NOAA's previous record for Web traffic was set in July, during Hurricane Claudette. At that time, the site averaged 3.7 million hits per day.

To accommodate the heavy increase in traffic, NOAA negotiated a temporary agreement for more bandwidth from Akamai Technologies Inc.

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