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While many government scientists may have been home with their families during the Christmas holiday, a hardy few—at no cost to taxpayers—apparently helped Santa Claus and tracked him on his rounds.

Through its Satellite Command and Data Acquisition Station in Fairbanks, Alaska, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintained a satellite watch of the North Pole for weather conditions and unusual activity Meanwhile, NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, created an online snow report for Santa, which contains maps and tables showing percentage probabilities for various snow depths on Christmas morning.