Track Santa on Christmas Eve

Published 9:21 am Monday, December 24, 2018

Where is Santa?

That’s the question on the minds of millions of kids — and perhaps a few adults too — around the world.

Children — and children at heart — who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Jolly Old Fellow himself on Christmas Eve, can track his trip using a variety of apps and websites.

The North American Defense Command’s (NORAD) tradition of tracking Santa began in 1955, using cutting edge technology to provide real time updates on Santa’s yuletide journey .

NORAD uses satellites, high-powered radar, jet fighters and special Santa cameras to track Santa Claus as he makes his journey around the world.

The NORAD Tracks Santa launched Dec. 1 with a revamped website at noradsanta.org, social media channels, “Santa Cam” streaming video and a call center that will be operating around the clock on Dec. 24.

Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are also available in the Windows, Apple and Google Play stores.

Starting at 2:01 a.m. EST on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations.

Then, at 6 a.m. EST, trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723); by sending an email to noradtrackssanta@outlook.com or by following the official NORAD Tracks Santa social media channels.

Additionally, any time on Dec. 24, Amazon Alexa users can ask for Santa’s location through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill for Amazon Alexa, and OnStar members can push the blue OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa. Bing users can also find Santa’s location on Dec. 24.

NORAD Tracks Santa began 63 years ago when a Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted a telephone number for children to call Santa.

Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center.

The director decided to have his staff check for Santa flying down from the North Ple, and callers were given updates on his locations.

The tradition was carried on the next year and continued when NORAD took over in 1958.

On his mythical journey, Santa generally departs the North Pole, flies to the international date line over the Pacific Ocean, then begins deliveries in island nations.

He then works his way west in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Alaska is usually his last stop before heading home.