WARWICK, RI — The National Weather Service forecasts clear skies, with a low of 15 degrees Christmas Eve in Warwick, where children will join millions worldwide watching for St. Nick via the NORAD Santa tracker website, toll-free call center and social media accounts.
Last year, by 7 a.m., Saint Nick was reported flying over McMurdo Station in Antartica, headed toward New Zealand, according to NORAD. Starting today, children may call 1-877-HI-NORAD for Santa’s up-to-date location. People can also follow NORAD Tracks Santa on Twitter at @noradsanta and Facebook at www.facebook.com/noradsanta.
Children speculate on the whereabouts of Kris Kringle each Christmas Eve as months of anticipation near their Christmas Day crescendo. NORAD, the The North American Aerospace Command, has been helping them zero in on the Jolly Old Elf’s airborne sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, with Rudolph leading the team, since 1955.
The 67th NORAD Tracks Santa mission includes the website, social media channels, “Santa Cam” streaming video and a call center that will be operating around the clock on Dec. 24. More than 1,400 volunteers are expected to join NORAD on Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs to help track Santa’s journey, the agency reports.
Starting 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, starting at 6 a.m., 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 [email protected] by following the official NORAD Tracks Santa social media channels.
NORAD’s Tracker: A Brief History
Their tradition began in 1955 with NORAD’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), according to NORAD’s brief online history of the practice.
A Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. ad printed CONAD’s phone number as the one children should use to call Santa. The number put kids in touch with the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.”
Colonel Harry Shoup, director of operations at the time, ordered his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and they continued doing so each year, even after Canada and the US created NORAD, the bi-national air defense command for North America.
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