Weather and travel issues dominate UK web use during storm

Brits set records last week, as nasty weather sent traffic to transportation and weather websites sky-high. For the week ending January 9, 2010, according to Hitwise Intelligence, weather websites were responsible for 1.5 percent of all internet traffic in the United Kingdom. That’s three times higher than the level reached the same week a year earlier. It also beat the last snowstorm, in February 2009, by 26.9 percent. BBC Weather was #12 on the list of all websites visited in the UK, and the Met Office was #22. There were plenty of peeks at how the trains were doing, as the National Rail Enquiries website ranked 56th among all British websites.

Snow dominated the search engines, as well. UK web users logged more than 146,000 searches containing the word “snow” during the four-week period ending January 9, 2010. “Snow forecast” was the most popular. Snow-related searches were up 378 percent compared to the same period the year before. Searches for “snow chains” grew by a factor of 23, with “snow boots” up by a factor of six.