News4Jax is tracking Santa on Christmas Eve

Rebecca Barry will provide evening updates on Santa’s position

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Weather Authority will track Santa on Christmas Eve with the help of satellites, and military sensors and technology from North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

It’s a long-standing tradition at News4Jax, beginning decades ago with George Winterling tracking Santa’s location using satellites and updates from NORAD. We use infrared satellite to sense the heat given off from Rudolph’s red nose, to give us an initial idea of where Santa and his sleigh are.

Infrared satellite picks up on the heat from Rudolph's nose.

Once we see the general area Santa is traveling through, we check in with NORAD to see if they have captured any images of Santa and the reindeer moving through these areas on their military cameras and sensors.

Once we see Rudolph’s nose light up on the infrared satellite in the North Pole- we know that Santa is getting ready to take to the skies and start delivering gifts. We’ll immediately cut into our regularly scheduled programming to alert you that Santa is on the move. Sometimes NORAD even catches a glimpse of Santa and the reindeer departing the North Pole.

If Santa takes a similar route that he did last year, he will head through Japan, China, Taiwan, and the Far East initially, on his way down under to deliver gifts to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tahiti. The best cameras NORAD has in these areas may catch Claus flying by the Great Wall of China, Mount Fuji and the Sydney Opera House. We will cut into our programming each time we get footage from NORAD and let you know where Santa is located.

As we approach the later evening hours, we should get different alerts from NORAD as Santa travels through Afghanistan, Egypt, France, Germany and the Netherlands. When we get this footage into our Santa Tracking Center, we will update you on air immediately.

When Santa crosses the Atlantic, he typically makes his initial appearance in the Americas in Canada and then works his way down the East Coast of the US towards us. NORAD has excellent camera positioning in our major cities like New York, Boston and Washington D.C., which we will cut in and show you when Santa and his sleigh fly by.

Once Santa gets closer to the River City, we also rely on radar and our own tower cameras to see St Nick. We will cut immediately on air and let you know when Santa is approaching the River City to let you know to head to bed. Merry Christmas from our News4Jax family to you and yours.

Footage from last year of Santa over the River City