Heavy Internet weather

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:44 PM GMT on October 27, 2008

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The tropical Atlantic remains quiet today. There are no threat areas to discuss, and none of our reliable models are calling for tropical storm formation over the next seven days. I'll have a full analysis of what the rest of the hurricane season might bring on Friday. I do think we have one more storm coming this year.

Heavy Internet weather
A record six consecutive tropical storms and hurricanes pounded the U.S. this hurricane season, creating some serious "Internet weather"--a flood of high Internet traffic. On September 12, as Hurricane Ike bore down on the Texas coast, our popular weather web site wunderground.com recorded its busiest day ever--28 million page views, triple its normal traffic. We vaulted from a ranking of 107th to 75th on the Quantcast, Inc. list of most-trafficked web sites in September, thanks to the huge amount of web traffic created by Tropical Storm Fay, Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Hanna, and Hurricane Ike. As hurricane season winds down, so has our ranking--we're down to 138th on the list of most-trafficked web sites. The ranking will rise again as we enter winter and winter storms begin pounding our population centers.

Historically, hurricanes have caused many Internet-wide bandwidth spikes, as people flocked to weather web sites for the latest advisories. The earliest such spike occurred on August 19, 1991, when Hurricane Bob roared into New England as a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds. At the time, I was a Ph.D. student working in a University of Michigan weather research lab called MADLAB, run by Professor Perry Samson. Earlier that year, I had written a piece of software called "UM-weather" that allowed anyone at the University to access current weather information using a text-based menu system (this was back before the days of web browsers). The Internet backbone was centered in Ann Arbor and controlled by Merit Networking, Inc. in those days. The networking gurus at Merit showed us how to make "UM-weather" available to anyone on the Internet, and we launched the Internet's first global weather information portal in the summer of 1991. Word quickly spread via email and USENET news groups about this great new real-time Internet weather source. When Hurricane Bob hit, usage of the "UM-weather" service exploded, as tens of thousands of information-hungry Internet users consulted the latest hurricane advisories. "UM-weather" became the most popular service on the entire Internet that day, a position it held for much of 1991 and 1992, according to the experts at Merit. We expanded our educational project over the next few years with the help of National Science Foundation funding, and named it "The Weather Underground"--a tongue-in-cheek reference to the old radical group that also got its start at the University of Michigan.

With the arrival of the World Wide Web and the commercial Internet in 1995, we took our educational project and spun it off into a business. Hurricanes continued to be our biggest draws, and our biggest challenges. It's not easy to design a hardware and software system that can handle a 3x bandwidth spike. Major hurricanes like Fran of 1996 and Floyd of 1999 brought down every major commercial, government, and university weather web site for hours--sometimes days. Since the late 1990s, the industry has figured out how to handle 3x bandwidth spikes, and the days of searching in vain for a working weather web site during a major hurricane event are over.

Top Internet weather web sites as of October, 2008 according to quantcast.com:



Traffic on my blog averages about 50,000 page views per day. The record was on September 12, when 800,000 page views were recorded. Thanks for your support!

I'll have a new blog entry on Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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962. tiggeriffic
6:09 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
bye pottery
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
961. tiggeriffic
6:08 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
ok...really do gotta bounce...peewee up from his nap and if I let him use the computer...he will let me paint...you know...I didn't use a computer at the age of 4...wait...they didn't have home computers when I was four...OMG i am old...=(
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
960. pottery
6:07 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
LOL Tigger.
I'm out. The kiln is calling.....
BBL
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24373
959. tiggeriffic
6:06 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
lol NE...maybe they will come out painted?
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
958. NEwxguy
6:05 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Quoting tiggeriffic:
I also have a stack of old shake shingles and cedar shingles I have to do something with... got em started but...no end in sight...have 28 girl penguins, 28 boy penguins, 12 snowmen and 10 santas done...19 more penguins needing hats but painting done, and dozens of other bulbs based in white waiting for faces...AAARRRGGGHH


Make sure you keep those boy penguins and girl penguins apart,don't want a bunch baby penguins you'll have to paint
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15810
957. tiggeriffic
6:05 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
ta ta rob...catch u later
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
956. tiggeriffic
6:04 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Pottery...they are packed seperate...but then again...maybe I SHOULD put them together...it might help me with how many I have to paint... ROFL
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
955. tiggeriffic
6:03 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
ok...guess my break was long enough...have to start some more faces on these ornaments... first show is Nov 8th and next one is Dec 6th, plus the parade float on Dec 7th... anyone want to volunteer to help me base coat and put varnish on these things?????lol
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
954. RobDaHood
6:01 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Tig,

makes me tired just reading it. Gotta bounce to the post office,

TTFN
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32191
953. pottery
6:01 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Good grief, Tigger.
Keep those boy penquins away from the girl penquins, or they will ruin everything.........
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24373
952. tiggeriffic
5:57 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
I also have a stack of old shake shingles and cedar shingles I have to do something with... got em started but...no end in sight...have 28 girl penguins, 28 boy penguins, 12 snowmen and 10 santas done...19 more penguins needing hats but painting done, and dozens of other bulbs based in white waiting for faces...AAARRRGGGHH
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
951. pottery
5:57 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Surfmom, post 912.
You are a tender soul. Stay, as sweet as you are etc.
love.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24373
950. RobDaHood
5:56 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Tig,

Okay, I'll admit, work that makes money is caught up...for now.

As for anything else, just me and the pets for 10 days and they are sworn to secrecy!

sshh!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32191
949. tiggeriffic
5:54 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
thanks...gotta do something to recycle, might as well try to get paid for it...lol...
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
948. tiggeriffic
5:54 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
rob...what is done? That word is not in my vocabulary...regular work, art work, house work, mom work, volunteer work, ummmm and every other kind of work is...and trust me, they are NEVER done...lol
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
947. RobDaHood
5:53 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
A bouncing tigger in a room full of ornaments makes me a tad nervous. LOL

Nice work btw
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32191
946. RobDaHood
5:51 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Pottery

Here you all are having fun

Here I am bored outta my mind, but at least I've got my work done!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32191
945. tiggeriffic
5:50 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
ok...went to the other blog to find out there is this blog...my ornaments are already making me dizzy and now this...ROFLMAO
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
944. pottery
5:46 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
These 2 parallel blogs are giving me a headache man.................
I'm in the other one, and it dead. Here you all are having fun.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24373
943. ftpiercecane
5:09 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
http://moe.met.fsu.edu/tcgengifs/
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 204
942. ftpiercecane
5:03 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Looks like the 06z gfs and the cmc see something off of the Florida east coast at the end of the long term forcast. To far out for any accuracy of course, just an observation.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 204
941. weatherbro
4:49 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
whats the difference between snow showers and snow flurries? Does it have to do with how wet or fluffy(dry) the snow is?
Member Since: May 26, 2007 Posts: 47 Comments: 1302
940. conchygirl
4:17 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Quoting Bonedog:
Not really LOL have to stay up late and watch for misguided youth in black carring paintball guns. Keeps the dog all wired too which upsets the wife.

Kids by me dont use TP or eggs, most houses are set back off the street to far so they ride bikes and carry paintball guns (distance and a fast getaway)

I dont aim at them though I shoot low, the sounds is what gets them. Just as they are about to fire I open up with a long burst and their faces are priceless. Hopefully they have learned to stay away from the "scary man's" house LOL
OMG that is too funny!
Member Since: June 11, 2008 Posts: 24 Comments: 5910
939. TampaSpin
3:58 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Surfmom i answered your question on my blog.....you might find it very interesting....Thanks......gotta run..everyone have a good day.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
938. Bonedog
3:51 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Exactly Rob. I let the neighbors kids (all under 8) TP my trees. The smiles they have are priceless. Even the errant kid with an egg I just laugh at. Heck I even let a kid last year soap my window without saying anything. But those damn paintballs are the problem.

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
937. RobDaHood
3:49 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
I really enjoy the kids, well, most of them. A lot of times they are just not thinking, we don't have any problems here - too far off the main road, easier targets elsewhere, but I know exactly where you're coming from. We always had plenty of fun with stuff that didn't hurt anything.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32191
936. Bonedog
3:47 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Rob too bad NJ is anti-firework. Nothing is legal except sparklers, and who would be afraid of sparklers
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
935. Bonedog
3:46 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Either that or the video games rotted their brains to the point of thinking everything is fixed with the reset button.

that was meant to be HAHA funny not serious. Wanted to sound like parents LOL
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
934. Bonedog
3:44 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
I am not a mean person just it upsets the wife and dog hearing the paintballs hitting the house and cars. If it was eggs or TP I wouldn't care, I remeber being a kid, but the paintballs dent the cars and crack the shingles, especially in this cold weather.

Last year the funny guys froze the paintballs overnight, cops had alot of calls for damage. Dont understand why you would want to damage someones property. TP and eggs are one thing, more of an inconveniance, but frozen paintballs cause actual damages. Kids today, I think, dont know the value of things anymore. Either that or the video games rotted their brains to the point of thinking everything is fixed with the reset button.

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
933. RobDaHood
3:41 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
(edited )
Gotta stop before I get myself in trouble, besides, I'm supposed to be working.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32191
932. SpicyAngel1072
3:38 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
omg! that is too funny!
Member Since: September 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 315
931. Bonedog
3:36 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Tried that Rob (sound effects) doesnt really do the same as the sound of the paintball gun and seeing someone aiming it >=) hehehe my evil grin is on
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
930. RobDaHood
3:33 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Nothing like return fire to scare the crap out of a teenager LOL
ROFLMAO - Leads me to all sorts of evil thoughts. Like combining that w/sound effects like a starter's pistol or firecrackers. I really don't need any more bad influences in my life...hehehe
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32191
929. Bonedog
3:32 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Not really LOL have to stay up late and watch for misguided youth in black carring paintball guns. Keeps the dog all wired too which upsets the wife.

Kids by me dont use TP or eggs, most houses are set back off the street to far so they ride bikes and carry paintball guns (distance and a fast getaway)

I dont aim at them though I shoot low, the sounds is what gets them. Just as they are about to fire I open up with a long burst and their faces are priceless. Hopefully they have learned to stay away from the "scary man's" house LOL
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
928. SpicyAngel1072
3:28 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
bone that sounds like fun!
Member Since: September 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 315
927. Bonedog
3:27 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
yea with it being devils night I have to remeber to stop at the paintball store. Keep the little PITAes away.

Nothing like return fire to scare the crap out of a teenager LOL
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
926. SpicyAngel1072
3:26 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
LOL NE! nope just me.
Member Since: September 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 315
925. Bonedog
3:23 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
LOL surfmom yea I know the lineup gets heavy when its going off. Thats why I like finding breaks away from the jetty =) Most hang right up at the jetty ususally off the condo its empty because it doesn't hold a big wave so the "boys" stay north.

From what I seen during the little wind swell looked like to older local guys with long boards and 3 dolphins that was it for the lineup. Noticed the crowd at the jetty though LOL

Yea next time down I am hoping to stay longer even the wife wants too also. Said just as we got relaxed we had to leave. At least I brought the cool weather with me as a present for you folks.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
924. NEwxguy
3:21 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Quoting SpicyAngel1072:


Thanks surfmom! Yes I am a scorpio! yes I have a stinging tail and born on devils day to boot. (hmmm not very good description of me huh?) I'm not that scary...lol.


Wow,I hope your talking about your halloween costume.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15810
923. surfmom
3:19 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Spouse has arrived with cold business mail - so i'm on lurkwork..... check in w/all later -- YUP... I'm smiling too Rob!
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
922. RobDaHood
3:15 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
...yes I have a stinging tail

They make a cream for that you know! LOL sorry, couldn't resist...

I've never been a morning person, myself. Bit of a black sheep and a night owl. But on those occaisions when I have to start out early, or have stayed up far too late, you folks always bring a smile to my face, and make the day a little nicer. Thanks!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 97 Comments: 32191
921. surfmom
3:13 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Bonedog --next time you come..... could you stay in FL a bit longer? you didn't have enough time to play!!....
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
920. surfmom
3:12 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Yikes -- happy, happy , Joy, JOY -- we are a special crew though....

Bonedog Ok I know the place....don't really take the drive down to Venice -- as i usually have a two hour window and don't waste it driving.....also when it is breaking...... you'd be amazed at all the numbers and it gets testosterone out there unless the kids are in school.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
919. FSUCOOPman
3:11 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Quoting conchygirl:
Surfmom: You are getting us all choked up.


I second that. Nice heartfelt remarks and good to see multiple practical applications of the information that comes from WU.
Member Since: August 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 376
918. SpicyAngel1072
3:08 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Quoting surfmom:
"lots of Leather"...just woke me up LOL

Happy B-day Spicy!!! -- The sun is beaming today, the sky is SOOOOO blue - mother earth says Happy b-day to YOU!!! it's warming up -- & you are a scorpio....... hummmmm


Thanks surfmom! Yes I am a scorpio! yes I have a stinging tail and born on devils day to boot. (hmmm not very good description of me huh?) I'm not that scary...lol.
Member Since: September 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 315
917. conchygirl
3:04 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Surfmom: You are getting us all choked up.
Member Since: June 11, 2008 Posts: 24 Comments: 5910
916. Bonedog
3:04 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
venice, outside my window =)

if you take The Esplanade(sp) north twords the South Jetty, there is a public acess between two of the condos. Walk right out from there to the North is one break and to the South in front of the condo is the other. Really clean lines even in the little wind break you had last week.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
915. TampaSpin
3:03 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
Surfmom you are a great person! Thank you for being you!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
914. Bonedog
3:01 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
=~)

surfmom that put a tear in my eye.

Glad the horse is fine =) and glad we help you in many fascets of your life. Paying it foward is the best, I always feel more folks should and this would be a better world.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
913. surfmom
2:56 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
ahhhh...which beach did you see the breaks??
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
912. surfmom
2:56 PM GMT on October 30, 2008
wanted to thank the MorningWUcrew!!!...I want thank all you weatherwizards for the knowledge and information you explain, teach and share....it is not only in hurricane season that knowledge of weather can save lives. Tuesday night I was up most of the night helping save a horse that was colicking. He is a majestic, intelligent athlete - a warhorse --but he is very vulnerable to fast weather changes..primarily, the first cold fronts which can put him into this often life threatening situation. Because I knew of the cold front coming and the dramatic drop in temp. I alerted my friend -- and reminded him to keep an eye on Leo. Tuesday night, Leo positioned himself very far from the man's house.... had I not made a point of the extreme dip in temp., my friend would not have been so diligent (primarily because he did not know @ the extreme drop) He went out and tracked down Leo who was in the early signs of distress. He called me out to help and we were able to avert a disaster.

I am not schooled or very educated in weather.... and I TAKE your information for the quality of my life... running and surfing... and hurricane awareness but more importantly to keep my beloved four-leggeds who live outside safe and comfortable.

Last night we saved a very fine horse -- but the initial save came from right here... the minds and knowledge of you all.

So yeaa, I am a TAKER... which leads me to part two of my chat... I'm not sure what I can collect for PORTLIGHT, but even if it's just what I can personally scrape up then that's what I am doing...you know pay-it-forward, so perhaps we all can think about the giving, we all take a lot out of here: information, friends, laughter.... and we can also use this community to give.....it all comes around....we don't know whose county next year..... you, me?????
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536

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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.