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NORAD to Track Santa's Christmas Flight

NORAD's sophisticated sky-monitoring systems are 'looking' for Old Saint Nick
Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013

Volunteers take phone calls from children asking where Santa is and when he will deliver presents to their house, during the annual NORAD Tracks Santa Operation, at the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, at Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, Colo., Monday Dec. 24, 2012.

The world's greatest effort to follow Santa's flight around the world continues this Christmas Eve.

In 1955, a Sears Roebuck & Co. in Colorado Springs, Colo., had advertised a Santa phone line but incorrectly published the number.

Children who thought they were calling Santa Claus ended up calling the operations hotline of the former Continental Air Defense Command, the predecessor of NORAD or the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Col. Harry Shoup, the operations director, directed his staff to scan the radar for signs of Santa, reports that were passed onto to the children.

NORAD continues the tradition almost 60 years later by answering children's emails and phone calls. It also follows Santa's flight with the NORAD Tracks Santa website.

Over 1,000 volunteers at NORAD handle more than 100,000 thousand phone calls from children around the world every Christmas Eve.

This holiday, Santa should face few problems reaching children across the United States. Some snow showers will fall across the Northeast, however.

Meanwhile, Europe could be more challenging as a storm wallops Spain and Portugal through much of France, Belgium and the Netherlands with locally heavy rain and gusty winds.

Over 1,000 volunteers at NORAD handle more than 100,000 thousand phone calls from children around the world every Christmas Eve, with NORAD continually projecting Santa's supposed progress delivering presents.

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