Eastern Time Zone

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Eastern Time Zone
  Eastern Time Zone
UTC offset
EST UTC−05:00
EDT UTC−04:00
Current time
04:41, 15 November 2019 EST [refresh]
Observance of DST
DST is observed in parts of this time zone.

The Eastern Time Zone (ET) is a time zone encompassing part or all of 22 states in the eastern part of the contiguous United States, parts of eastern Canada, the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico, Panama in Central America, and certain Caribbean and Atlantic islands, along with certain countries and parts of countries in South America. Places that use Eastern Standard Time (EST) when observing standard time (autumn/winter) are five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC−05:00).

Time zone Region on Earth that has a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes

A time zone is a region of the globe that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries of countries and their subdivisions instead of longitude, because it is convenient for areas in close commercial or other communication to keep the same time.

Contiguous United States 48 states of the United States apart from Alaska and Hawaii

The contiguous United States or officially the conterminous United States consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states on the continent of North America. The terms exclude the non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii, and all other off-shore insular areas, such as American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico. These differ from the related term continental United States which includes Alaska but excludes the Hawaiian Islands and unincorporated U.S. territories in the Caribbean.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.


Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), when observing daylight saving time (spring/summer), is four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC−04:00).

Daylight saving time Time adjustment practice

Daylight saving time (DST), also daylight savings time or daylight time and summer time, is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that darkness falls later each day according to the clock. A common implementation of DST is to advance clocks by one hour in the spring and retard clocks by one hour in autumn to return to standard time. In other words, there is one 23-hour day in the spring and one 25-hour day in the fall.

Coordinated Universal Time Primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time

Coordinated Universal Time is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. It is within about 1 second of mean solar time at 0° longitude, and is not adjusted for daylight saving time. In some countries, the term Greenwich Mean Time is used.

UTC−04:00 Identifier for a time offset from UTC of −4

UTC−04:00 is an identifier for a time offset from UTC of −04:00. It is observed in the Eastern Time Zone during the warm months of daylight saving time, as Eastern Daylight Time. The Atlantic Time Zone observes it during standard time . It is observed all year in the Eastern Caribbean.

In the northern parts of the time zone, on the second Sunday in March, at 2:00 a.m. EST, clocks are advanced to 3:00 a.m. EDT leaving a one-hour "gap". On the first Sunday in November, at 2:00 a.m. EDT, clocks are moved back to 1:00 a.m. EST, thus "duplicating" one hour. Southern parts of the zone (Panama and the Caribbean) do not observe daylight saving time.

The largest city in the Eastern Time Zone is New York; the New York metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area in the zone.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually referred to as either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

New York metropolitan area Megacity in the United States

The New York metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass, at 4,495 sq mi (11,640 km2). The metropolitan area includes New York City, Long Island, and the Mid and Lower Hudson Valley in the state of New York; the five largest cities in New Jersey: Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, and Edison, and their vicinities; and six of the seven largest cities in Connecticut: Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury, and their vicinities.


The boundaries of the Eastern Time Zone have moved westward since the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) took over time-zone management from railroads in 1938. For example, the easternmost and northernmost counties in Kentucky were added to the zone in the 1940s, and in 1961 most of the state went Eastern. In 2000, Wayne County, on the Tennessee border, switched from Central to Eastern. [1] In March 2018, the Florida Legislature passed a bill requesting authorization from Congress for year-round daylight saving time, which would effectively put Florida on Atlantic Standard Time year-round (except for west of the Apalachicola River, which would be on Eastern Standard Time year-round). [2]

Interstate Commerce Commission A regulatory agency in the United States created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887

The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was a regulatory agency in the United States created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The agency's original purpose was to regulate railroads to ensure fair rates, to eliminate rate discrimination, and to regulate other aspects of common carriers, including interstate bus lines and telephone companies. Congress expanded ICC authority to regulate other modes of commerce beginning in 1906. Throughout the 20th century several of ICC's authorities were transferred to other federal agencies. The ICC was abolished in 1995, and its remaining functions were transferred to the Surface Transportation Board.

Florida U.S. state in the United States

Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, and the 8th-most densely populated of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.

United States Congress Legislature of the United States

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, and consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 435 representatives and 100 senators. The House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house, sit and vote in congressional committees, and introduce legislation.

Daylight saving time

Daylight saving time for the Eastern Time Zone was introduced by the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which specified that daylight saving time would run from the last Sunday of April until the last Sunday in October in the United States. [3] The act was amended to make the first Sunday in April the beginning of daylight saving time beginning in 1987. [3]

Uniform Time Act United States timekeeping and daylight saving time law

The Uniform Time Act of 1966, Pub.L. 89–387, 80 Stat. 107, enacted April 13, 1966, was a Law of the United States to "promote the adoption and observance of uniform time within the standard time zones" prescribed by the Standard Time Act of 1918. Its intended effect was to simplify the official pattern of where and when daylight saving time (DST) is applied within the U.S. Prior to this law, each state had its own scheme for when DST would begin and end, and in some cases, which parts of the state should use it.

Later, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended daylight saving time in the United States, beginning in 2007. Since then, local times change at 2:00 a.m. EST to 3:00 a.m. EDT on the second Sunday in March, and return from 2:00 a.m. EDT to 1:00 a.m. EST on the first Sunday in November. [3] In Canada, daylight saving time begins and ends on the same days and at the same times as it does in the United States. [4] [5]

Energy Policy Act of 2005 United States Law

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 is a bill passed by the United States Congress on July 29, 2005, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 8, 2005, at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The act, described by proponents as an attempt to combat growing energy problems, changed US energy policy by providing tax incentives and loan guarantees for energy production of various types.


In Canada, the following provinces and territories are part of the Eastern Time Zone:

All observe daylight saving time in sync with the United States, with very localized exceptions.

United States

The boundary between time zones is set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations, with the boundary between the Eastern and Central Time Zones being specifically detailed at 49 CFR 71. [6]

Seventeen states and Washington, D.C. are located entirely within the Eastern Time Zone. They are:[ citation needed ]

Five states are partly in the Eastern Time Zone, with the remaining portions in the Central Time Zone. They are:

Eastern Time is also used somewhat as a de facto official time for all of the United States because it includes the capital city (Washington D.C.), the most populous city (New York City), and half of the country's population. For this reason, media organizations will often report when events happened or are scheduled to happen in Eastern Time even if they occurred in another time zone, and TV schedules are also almost always posted in Eastern Time. In the United States, all nationally televised morning programs (except Good Morning America Weekend Edition which some ABC affiliates on the east coast air on a tape-delay), some daytime talk shows, evening newscasts, most talent and awards shows, and any other nationally televised event that airs live on American television during prime time and on the weekends (such as sports television) are broadcast live in the Eastern Time Zone. Major professional sports leagues also post all game times in Eastern time, even if both teams are from the same time zone, outside of Eastern Time. For example, a game time between two teams from Pacific Time Zone will still be posted in Eastern time (for example, one may see "Seattle at Los Angeles" with "10:00 p.m." posted as the start time for the game, often without even clarifying the time is posted in Eastern time).[ citation needed ]

Most cable television and national broadcast networks advertise airing times in Eastern time. National broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, NBC) generally have two primary feeds, an eastern feed for Eastern and Central time zones, and a tape-delayed western feed for the Pacific Time Zone. The prime time is set on Eastern and Pacific at 8:00 p.m., with the Central time zone stations receiving the eastern feed at 7:00 p.m. local time. Mountain Time Zone stations receive a separate feed at 7:00 p.m. local time.[ citation needed ] As Arizona does not observe daylight saving time, during the summer months, it has its own feed at 7:00 p.m. local time.[ citation needed ] Cable channels with a separate western feed (such as HBO, whose western feed is called "HBOW") generally air the same programming as the eastern feed delayed by three hours. Other cable networks such as the Discovery family of networks repeat their prime time programming three hours later; this allows for the same show to be advertised as airing at "8:00 p.m. E/P" (that is, "8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time"). Networks specializing in the airing of sports events, such as ESPN, advertise all of their programming in Eastern and Pacific, incorporating the three-hour time difference (as in "8:00 p.m. Eastern/5:00 p.m. Pacific") and leaving viewers in the remaining time zones to calculate start time in their own areas.[ citation needed ]


Caribbean Islands

The Bahamas and Haiti officially observe both Eastern Standard Time during the winter months and Eastern Daylight Time during the summer months. Cuba generally follows the U.S. with Eastern Standard Time in the winter, and Eastern Daylight Time in the summer, but the exact day of change varies year to year. Cayman Islands and Jamaica use Eastern Standard Time year-round.

Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands followed Eastern Time with daylight saving until 2015, when the territory switched to the Atlantic Time Zone. The Turks and Caicos Islands switched back to the pre-2015 schedule in March 2018. [9] A 2017 consultation paper highlighted the advantage for business and tourism of being in the same time zone as the eastern United States as an important factor in the decision. [10]

Central and South America

In Central America, the countries from Guatemala to Costa Rica use Central Standard Time UTC−06:00 year-round, but Panama uses Eastern Standard Time (UTC−05:00) year-round.

In South America, the state of Acre and the southwest part of the state of Amazonas (both in Brazil), along with Colombia, Ecuador (except for the Galápagos Islands, which use Central Standard Time), and Peru also use Eastern Standard Time year-round.

See also

Related Research Articles

Central Time Zone time zone in North America

The North American Central Time Zone (CT) is a time zone in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, some Caribbean Islands, and part of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Mountain Time Zone time zone of North America

The Mountain Time Zone of North America keeps time by subtracting seven hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) when standard time is in effect, and by subtracting six hours during daylight saving time (UTC−06:00). The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time at the 105th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory. In the United States, the exact specification for the location of time zones and the dividing lines between zones is set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations at 49 CFR 71.

Pacific Time Zone North American time zone

The Pacific Time Zone (PT) is a time zone encompassing parts of western Canada, the western United States, and western Mexico. Places in this zone observe standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC−08:00). During daylight saving time, a time offset of UTC−07:00 is used.

Alaska Time Zone time zone observing UTC -9 during standard time and UTC -8 during daylight saving time

The Alaska Time Zone observes standard time by subtracting nine hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC−09:00). During daylight saving time its time offset is eight hours (UTC−08:00). The clock time in this zone is based on mean solar time at the 135th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory.

Time in the United States Timekeeping in the USA

Time in the United States, by law, is divided into nine standard time zones covering the states, territories and other US possessions, with most of the United States observing daylight saving time (DST) for approximately the spring, summer, and fall months. The time zone boundaries and DST observance are regulated by the Department of Transportation. Official and highly precise timekeeping services (clocks) are provided by two federal agencies: the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) ; and the United States Naval Observatory (USNO). The clocks run by these services are kept synchronized with each other as well as with those of other international timekeeping organizations.

UTC−05:00 Identifier for a time offset from UTC of −5

UTC−05:00 is an identifier for a time offset from UTC of −05:00. In North America, it is observed in the Eastern Time Zone during standard time, and in the Central Time Zone during the other eight months. The western Caribbean uses it year round.

Summer time in Europe

Summer time in Europe is the variation of standard clock time that is applied in most European countries in the period between spring and autumn, during which clocks are advanced by one hour from the time observed in the rest of the year, in order to make the most efficient use of seasonal daylight. It corresponds to the notion and practice of daylight saving time to be found in many other parts of the world.

Time in New Zealand

Time in New Zealand is divided by law into two standard time zones. The main islands use New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), 12 hours in advance of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) / military M (Mike), while the outlying Chatham Islands use Chatham Standard Time (CHAST), 12 hours 45 minutes in advance of UTC / military M^ (Mike-Three).

Atlantic Time Zone timezone (UTC−04:00)

The Atlantic Time Zone is a geographical region that keeps standard time—called Atlantic Standard Time (AST)—by subtracting four hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), resulting in UTC−04:00. During part of the year, some portions of the zone observe daylight saving time, referred to as Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT), by moving their clocks forward one hour to result in UTC−03:00. The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the 60th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory.

The Yukon Time Zone was a time zone that kept standard time; Yukon Standard Time (YST) was obtained by subtracting nine hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) resulting in UTC−09:00. Yukon Daylight Time (YDT) when observed was eight hours behind UTC. In 1983 the UTC−09:00 based time zone was restructured and renamed the Alaska Time Zone.

Time in Australia country with three main time zones

Australia uses three main time zones: Australian Western Standard Time, Australian Central Standard Time, and Australian Eastern Standard Time. Time is regulated by the individual state governments, some of which observe daylight saving time (DST). Australia's external territories observe different time zones.

Time in Canada time zones of Canada

Canada is divided into six time zones, based on proposals by Scottish Canadian railway engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, who pioneered the use of the 24-hour clock, the world's time zone system, and a standard prime meridian. Most of Canada operates on standard time from the first Sunday in November to the second Sunday in March and daylight saving time the rest of the year.

The UTC offset is the difference in hours and minutes from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) for a particular place and date. It is generally shown in the format ±[hh]:[mm], ±[hh][mm], or ±[hh]. So if the time being described is one hour ahead of UTC, the UTC offset would be "+01:00", "+0100", or simply "+01".

Central Africa Time time zone

Central Africa Time, or CAT, is a time zone used in central and southern Africa. Central Africa Time is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+02:00), which is the same as the adjacent South Africa Standard Time and Eastern European Time.

Chamorro Time Zone time zone which is UTC+10hr

The Chamorro Time Zone, formerly the Guam Time Zone, is a United States time zone which observes standard time ten hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+10:00). The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the 150th meridian east of the Greenwich Observatory.

Time in Mexico

Mexico uses four main time zones since February 2015. Most of the country observes Daylight Saving Time.

  1. Zona Sureste covers the state of Quintana Roo is UTC-05:00 year round. It is the equivalent of U.S. Eastern Standard Time.
  2. Zona Centro covers the eastern three-fourths of Mexico, including Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. For most of the year, it is the equivalent of U.S. Central Time.
  3. Zona Pacífico covers the states of Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora. The state of Sonora, like the U.S. state of Arizona, does not observe daylight saving time. For most of the year, it is the equivalent of U.S. Mountain Time.
  4. Zona Noroeste covers the state of Baja California. It is identical to U.S. Pacific Time, including the daylight saving time schedule.
Daylight saving time in the United States method of timekeeping

Daylight saving time in the United States is the practice of setting the clock forward by one hour during the warmer part of the year, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Most areas of the United States and Canada observe daylight saving time (DST), the exceptions being Arizona, Hawaii, and the overseas territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the system of uniform Daylight Saving Time throughout the US.

Time in Nunavut

Nunavut is divided into three time zones: Eastern, Central and Mountain.

Daylight saving time in the Americas is the arrangement in the Americas by which clocks are advanced by one hour in spring and moved back in autumn, to make the most of seasonal daylight. The practice is widespread in North America, with most of Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America participating, but much less so in South America.


  1. "Why Louisville?". Louisville magazine. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  2. Klas, Mary Ellen (6 March 2018). "Legislature approves year-round daylight saving time — but it's not a done deal yet". Miami Herald . Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 Prerau, David (2006). "Early adoption and U.S. Law". Daylight Saving Time. Web Exhibit. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
  4. Law, Gwillim (21 September 2007). "United States Time Zones".
  5. "Daylight Saving Time Starts Sunday". Government of Ontario. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  6. The specification for the Eastern Time Zone is set forth at 49 CFR 71.4, and is listed in Text and pdf formats. The boundary between Eastern and Central is set forth at 49 CFR 71.5, and is listed in text and pdf formats.
  7. http://legacy.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/060813/zones.shtml
  8. "On Mexican Time: Changing Time Zones To Accommodate Tourism". Forbes . Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  9. "DST Dates Confirmed". Timeanddate.com. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  10. "Consultation paper Daylight Saving" (PDF). April 2017. p. 6-7. Retrieved 10 January 2019.