When will Santa get here? Find out with NORAD’s Santa Tracker

Posted at 10:57 AM, Dec 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-24 11:00:34-05

Curious about Santa’s whereabouts? Look no further: The North American Aerospace Defense Command is tracking the jolly old man’s location minute by minute as he delivers presents to good girls and boys around the world.

NORAD has been tracking Santa for 60 years, according to their website. It began with kids calling the Continental Air Defense Command to find out when Santa would visit them, and over time has grown into a widespread digital operation.

Santa is not only tracked using the internet, but numbers of volunteers fill NORAD’s headquarters to take phone calls and respond to emails from kids around the world as they eagerly await St. Nick and his reindeer.

NORAD uses the North Warning radar system to track Santa, which includes 47 installation points across North America and a number of fixed satellites that hover above earth, according to their website. Their radar picks up Santa’s location the moment he takes off from the North Pole, and the satellites, which can see heat, pick up the light from Rudolph’s nose.

Santa starts his Christmas journey at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west, according to NORAD. Historically, Santa arrives in the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia. After that, he delivers gifts to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then Europe, before arriving in the Americas and delivering presents to Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Central and South America.

While NORAD tracks Santa’s route, only Santa knows where he is heading next. Their best advice for making sure Santa arrives? Make sure to go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Follow the NORAD radar stream or give them a call at 1-877-hi-NORAD to talk to a NORAD Santa expert.