Santa Claus can be tracked using this simple tool - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Santa Claus can be tracked using this simple tool

Photo source: Norad.org Photo source: Norad.org

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – What if we told you it was possible to track Santa's annual, fast-approaching yuletide trek so closely that you can see when he's nearby? "Impossible", you'd say. Nay, nothing is impossible at Christmastime.

For more than 50 years, NORAD has been tracking Santa's voyage around the world that begins on Christmas Eve, and continues through the wee hours of Christmas morning.

"How could they possibly track Santa Claus?" you may ask. NORAD uses a radar system to track the mysterious, elusive Man in Red. In fact, they monitor so closely that they're able to decipher indications that let them know when Santa Claus departs from the North Pole.

They even use SantaCams. These are ultra-cool, high-tech, high-speed digital cameras pre-positioned at many spots around the world. The cams are only used once a year, on December 24. The SantaCams are turned on about an hour before Santa enters a country, then switched off when images of him and the reindeer are captured. The images are immediately downloaded to the NORAD website for people around the world to see. The SantaCams produce video and still images.

NORAD can't tell you when Santa will arrive at your house, because only he knows his route. They say it seems that Santa arrives between 9 p.m. and midnight on December 24. If children are still awake when he arrives, he moves on to other houses. But don't worry, he returns later when the children are asleep.

You can read more about NORAD and their methods to track Santa here: http://www.noradsanta.org/. And don't forget to check on Christmas Eve to find out when he's on the move!

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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