(WSPA) – Every Christmas, Santa makes his way around the world to deliver all the gifts to boys and girls.
We all know he starts off from the North Pole, but where exactly is the north pole?
The North Pole is approximately 3,803 miles north of Spartanburg and sits on top of an exceptionally large block of ice over the Arctic Ocean.
As Santa takes off on December 24, which is just a couple of days after the Winter Solstice. This means that it is almost 24 straight hours of darkness at the North Pole, therefore, Santa will definitely need Rudolph to light the way for takeoff!
Once he takes off, that’s when the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, can track Santa’s location.
We spoke with Captain Alexandra Hejduk about how they are able to follow Santa.
“As soon as Rudolph pokes his nose above the North Pole, it just so happens that Rudolph’s nose has the same heat signature as a missile. So that way our radars and satellites are able to track him.”
NORAD has come a long way in tracking Santa. It all began as an accidental phone call back in 1955.
“On a cold Christmas Eve, Colonel Harry Shoup was in the CONAD command at the time. In the evening he received a call on the redline. He picked it up expecting the president or someone of that level, but instead he had on the other line a little girl. And she asked him if he was Santa Claus. He was a little bit flabbergasted on what to say”
Captain Hejduk said the company Sears had published a number in their catalog inviting children to call and speak with Santa Claus. However, they had missed it by one number.
“Ever since then, it’s become a part of our NORAD tradition. NORAD took over in 1958 and we’re going into our 67th year. We are really proud of this.”
So what started with one phone call from a child has now reached about 150,000 phone calls a year. Captain Hejduk said on average 1,500 volunteers answer calls to help children pinpoint Santa’s location.
You can also call NORAD to get the latest on Santa’s location by calling (877) 446-6723.
In addition to calling NORAD, you can also visit their website to track Santa as he travels around the world.
What weather does Santa run into?
When Santa takes off, it is already cold at the North Pole, but it gets even colder in Siberia, Russia.
The average low temperatures can fall 50 degrees below 0! Now you know why Santa has his thick coat.
On the other hand, when he goes south to Australia, it is summertime.
The temperature even at night may still be in the mid-80s. Santa won’t be wearing that red coat when he visits there.
How does Santa maneuver through rain and storms around the world? That’s something NORAD is still trying to figure out.
“We don’t actually know Santa’s route. We can only track him as he’s flying. That’s because he has to adjust his route depending on what the weather is.”
No matter what weather Santa is flying through, thanks to NORAD, you can keep track of him anywhere.
“Between all the different efforts that we have between social media and interviews and being able to reach out to different audiences, our reach is over 4 billion.”