Each year, NORAD tracks the geographical location of Santa Claus as he makes his annual trip delivering gifts to children around the world and makes that information available to the general public through a phone service and various channels online.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America.
According to the official web site, the NORAD-U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) Command Center serves as a central collection and coordination facility for a worldwide system of sensors designed to provide the commander and the leadership of Canada and the U.S. with an accurate picture of the airspace above the U.S. and Canada.
Although most data collected by NORAD is top secret, each December 24, volunteers at NORAD share the data they collect about one special object in space - a red sleigh led by eight or nine tiny reindeer.
“Though we don’t have exact information, because weather conditions can complicate Santa’s plans, North Carolina should be on the lookout for Santa around 10 p.m.,” said a NORAD spokesperson to The Tribune.
Kids are strongly encouraged to go to bed early, since Santa is known for delivering gifts while children are sleeping.
According to the NORAD website, NORAD uses four high-tech systems to track Santa – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets.
The gift-giving frenzy starts this year in the American Samoa, a U.S. territory in the south Pacific and travels westward hitting Australia, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and then the United States.
Santa’s first stop in Surry County will be residences near Pilot Mountain. The jolly figure makes his way to Mt. Airy and Dobson, and finally Elkin.
NORAD said that Santa will conclude this year’s trip in Hawaii.
According to the weather conditions posted on accuweather.com, Santa’s worldwide journey will be filled with precipitation during parts of his trip. That’s why The Tribune can predict that Santa will most likely solicit the support of reindeer Rudolph.
And though children and adults can look up in the sky to most likely find nine reindeer led by a bright red light, “It all happens so fast that if you blink your eye you just might miss it,” says NORAD.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at the Tribune by calling 835-1513 or by email at email@example.com.