BREAKING NEWS Authorities rescue man from vehicle in Winnebago River near Mason City in freezing temps Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Democrats introduce two articles of impeachment against Trump Full Story

NORAD tracking Santa's movements on Christmas Eve

The US military command that is charged with protecting the airspace for North America is on alert this Christmas wee...

Posted: Dec 26, 2017 3:20 AM
Updated: Dec 26, 2017 3:20 AM

The US military command that is charged with protecting the airspace for North America is on alert this Christmas weekend for a man with a white beard and a red suit.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is preparing to track a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer around the world as it heads for US airspace Sunday night.

This is the 62nd year of the program's existence

It began because of a typo in a store ad

NORAD said in a statement that starting at 2:01 a.m. ET on December 24, the public can access its official Santa Tracker to watch Santa Claus prepare for his voyage. Once Santa takes flight, the public can track his whereabouts and access NORAD's "Santa Cams" as he journeys around the world to bring joy to good boys and girls. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will participate in phone calls, the White House said.

Starting at 6 a.m. ET on Christmas Eve, the public can also call 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) and speak live with NORAD trackers. People stuck in the car on the way to Grandmother's house, and with an OnStar subscription, can access the tracker by hitting their OnStar button.

Marine Col. Bob Brodie of the 601st Air Operations Center said fighter jets will "fly along (Santa's) wing" in a "close escort," and that the center will "monitor him with our satellites and even have infrared trackers to follow Rudolph."

The Santa Tracker program began in 1955 because of a mistake in a Colorado Springs newspaper advertisement from Sears Roebuck & Co. The Sears ad misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. The phone number published was actually for the commander in chief's operations hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), which was NORAD's predecessor.

On December 24, 1955, Air Force Col. Harry Shoup was on duty, and instead of hanging up on countless children that night, Shoup checked the radar and updated the eager children on jolly old Saint Nick's location. That 1955 misprint and Shoup's actions started a 62-year tradition that is made possible today by volunteers and corporate sponsors who bear the expense.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
wxIcon
Hi: 10° Lo: 0°
Feels Like: -7°
Albert Lea
Overcast
wxIcon
Hi: 6° Lo: -6°
Feels Like: -5°
Austin
Overcast
wxIcon
Hi: 8° Lo: -4°
Feels Like: -6°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
wxIcon
Hi: 10° Lo: 2°
Feels Like: -9°
Rochester
Clear
-1° wxIcon
Hi: 5° Lo: -7°
Feels Like: -19°
Coldest air of the season has arrived
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Authorities rescue man from Winnebago River

Image

Man taken to ambulance after being rescued

Image

Salvation Army opens it's doors for Rochester's homeless

Image

Snow storm causes several crashes in Minnesota

Image

Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Tuesday

Image

Iowa DOT talks how 511 gets updated

Image

Ping Pong Prodigy

Image

Elton Hills Drive safety session

Image

Williams shines as Dover-Eyota defeats Byron

Image

Ice almost ready for arena

Community Events