NORAD tracks Santa's global journey - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

NORAD tracks Santa's global journey

NORAD's tracker shows Santa Claus and his team of reindeer near the coast of Australia. (Source: NORAD's tracker shows Santa Claus and his team of reindeer near the coast of Australia. (Source:

(RNN) - While you are busy relaxing, with visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, Santa and the people that track him are busy this Christmas Eve.

For the 62nd year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, is tracking Santa Claus' trip around the globe.

You can monitor Santa's virtual location on the NORAD tracks Santa website.

As of Sunday afternoon, Santa had made his way across Asia and was on schedule in Europe with stops in Greece and the Baltic countries. 

NORAD, an organization charged with the air defense of the United States and Canada, stumbled into the Santa-tracking business by accident.

In 1955, a Sears & Roebuck advertisement in Colorado Springs, CO, urged children to call Santa, but the number was misprinted.

The children instead reached another hotline instead: the operations hotline of Col. Harry Shoup, the crew commander on duty at what was then known as the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, an organization that helped guard North America against potential air attack.

Shoup had his staff check the radar for signs that Santa was making his way south from the North Pole.

NORAD took over Santa-tracking duties when it was created in 1958.

On Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, NORAD tracks Santa's progress across the globe, helping anxious boys and girls know when they should be tucked away in bed.

The NORAD radar system, called the North Warning System, has 47 sites across north Canada and Alaska. This radar array helps determine when Santa has lifted off.

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