Lisa Varano, staff writer
December 24, 2010 — Where is Santa now? The experts at NORAD are tracking him through his Christmas Eve journey.
Where is Santa now? You can follow his journey around the world right now with NORAD's Santa tracker.
Santa Claus is one of Canada's best weather experts. He is an authority on weather conditions across the country on Christmas Eve.
Santa lives at the North Pole year-round (postal address: Canada H0 H0 H0). He checks your local forecast in the days leading up to Christmas, and then makes his own firsthand weather observations on December 24 as he sweeps across Canada -- and the world -- in a flash.
NORAD, the Canadian-American agency that keeps watch on North American airspace, has been tracking Santa since 1955. NORAD says that Santa travels from east to west to take advantage of time zones.
Officials at the NORAD complex at the Canadian Forces Base in North Bay, Ontario, know the instant Santa comes back home.
“When we get indications that Santa Claus is entering Canadian air space, we will go ahead and scramble some CF-18 fighter aircraft from Newfoundland to go and meet him,” says Major Don Saunders of CFB North Bay.
Although Santa is known to travel from east to west, his journey would technically be faster if he went from west to east, says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
“That's the direction that the jet stream flows. Those are the strong winds in the upper atmosphere. So what Santa could do is get high enough in the atmosphere, get into the jet stream, and ride that right around the world,” she says.
WILL IT BE A WHITE CHRISTMAS?
Environment Canada defines a White Christmas as at least 2 cm of snow on the ground Christmas morning.
Vettese says several areas across the country are already white. “We've seen lots of snow in the British Columbia Interior. Right across the Prairies, there's snow. Most areas of Ontario have snow. The only places that are actually lacking in the snow are parts of the Maritimes and Newfoundland, with all the rain they've been getting,” she says.
You can check out The Weather Network's Ho! Ho! Snow Report for a detailed look at the chance of a White Christmas this year.
With files from Andrea Stockton and Lyndsay Morrison