Where is Santa now? Follow his Christmas Eve journey with these Google and NORAD trackers
It’s Christmas Eve, and children across the country are waiting for Santa Claus to make his way down the chimney and deliver presents.
But where is Santa now, and when will he arrive in the United States – or more importantly, in their state? High-tech trackers by the North American Aerospace Defense Command and Google are monitoring the big guy and his reindeer and offering minute-by-minute updates on his location as he flies around the world.
And kids shouldn’t be worried about the coronavirus pandemic affecting Santa’s travel plans. He got his COVID-19 booster shot and is “good to go” for Christmas this year, Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed to USA TODAY.
Here are some of the most popular Santa trackers you can use on Christmas Eve 2021.
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NORAD Tracks Santa
NORAD will again be tracking Santa this Christmas using satellites, radar and even jet fighters. The agency’s predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command, started tracking Santa’s flight in 1955, and NORAD took over in 1958.
NORAD “makes a point of checking the radar closely for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole every holiday season,” according to its website.
The agency operates a phone line where callers can speak to a NORAD volunteer, a website and more to ensure children can track Santa’s path.
NORAD confirmed to USA TODAY that, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, approximately 500 volunteers will be taking calls at its NORAD Tracks Santa operations center at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado, and another 150 volunteers will be taking calls remotely. In years before the coronavirus pandemic, approximately 1,500 volunteers helped track Santa’s path.
If you want to put out milk and cookies in time for Santa’s arrival, you can also send an email to email@example.com on Friday, and a NORAD staff member will send you Santa’s last known location, according to its website.
Amazon Alexa customers can also enable the NORAD Tracks Santa skill to follow Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve.
Alexa can also offer to call Santa himself, and kids can leave a voice message for him with the toys they hope to receive on Christmas.
Google Santa Tracker
On Christmas Eve, Google is releasing “a tracking experience where you can follow Santa and his reindeer as they deliver presents to kids around the world,” according to its website.
You can also use Google Assistant to keep up with Santa’s location on Dec. 24.
Google has tracked Santa’s worldwide journey on Christmas Eve since 2004. They’ve calculated Santa’s first stop is just after 10 p.m. local time in “far eastern Russia” and his total journey lasts 25 hours.
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