Hurricane Katrina jolts NOAA’s Web traffic

Traffic on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Web site has increased exponentially in response to public interest in hurricane Katrina, the agency said today.

Millions used NOAA’s site to monitor the devastating storm, which made landfall Monday at around 7:10 a.m. EDT on the Louisiana coast, the agency said. NOAA had upgraded its Web site with new hurricane monitoring features in preparation for this year’s tropical storm season.

NOAA Web sites were seeing traffic in excess of 5,200 hits per second, according to Greg Hernandez, NOAA.gov editorial manager. “The NOAA Web site traffic for Katrina rivals that seen for 2004’s Hurricane Ivan, another Category Four storm on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale to strike the United States,” Hernandez said in an e-mail response to an inquiry.

“The combined traffic for the NOAA home page and NOAA National Hurricane Center zoomed past 296 million hits and more than 22 million page views for Sunday, Aug. 28,” Hernandez said. “This was double the traffic from Saturday.”

The most popular NOAA sites used to monitor Hurricane Katrina are:

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