Tracking Santa’s path is the North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD, the official Santa tracker.
NORAD and its predecessor, Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), has been tracking Santa for 57 years. NORAD is the only organization that has the technology, qualifications and the people to track Santa. After all, NORAD tracks airplanes, missiles, space launches and anything else that flies in or around the North American continent twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.
Officials at NORAD believe that Santa’s route usually starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west. So, historically, Santa visits the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia. After that, he shoots up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. Keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable. NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf Launch Staff to confirm his launch time, but from that point on, Santa calls the shots, and NORAD just tracks him.