BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Whether they’ve been naughty or nice, Santa is headed to the homes of many Maryland children tonight to deliver gifts in time for Christmas morning.

Despite the foggy conditions and heavy rains in the forecast, Santa is expected to arrive on the East Coast around 8 p.m. and depending on his travel route he could land on Maryland rooftops sometime between 9 p.m. and midnight, according to a spokesman with NORAD.

Rudolph’s bright red nose will come in handy for sure tonight for Santa who can expect to be delivering gifts during the time when the heaviest rain will hit the Baltimore metro region this evening.

TRACK SANTA HERE:

MORE ON NORAD’S SANTA TRACKER:

How did it all begin? According to The Baltimore Sun, it was a misprint in a Sears ad.

A December 1955 newspaper ad invited kids to call Santa, but the phone number it listed was for the Continental Aerospace Defense Command, the predecessor to the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The officers on duty played along and began passing along reports on Santa’s progress.

So far this year, the tracker has 1.5 million Facebook likes and 136,000 Twitter followers.

Visits to the website continue to grow — it peaked in 2012 at 22.3 million before dropping to about 19.6 million.

But what is NORAD? The joint U.S.-Canada command is responsible for defending the skies and monitoring the sea approaches for both nations. Its control room was originally inside Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs in a shelter designed to withstand a nuclear attack. The control room is now at Peterson Air Force Base, also in Colorado Springs.

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Get into the Christmas mood, by listening to CBS radio’s Today 101.9 — Baltimore’s Christmas music station.

Need some last-minute holiday ideas? Check out our complete guide to Christmas.

Some information shared via CBS Pittsburgh.

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