The Time In The United States of America
The USA has multiple time zones — more than you might expect when you consider that the USA also includes Hawaii, Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. If you include the United States Minor Outlying Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the US Virgin Islands and American Samoa, then there are even more time zones. One can also include Antarctica where the USA maintains the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, McMurdo Station and Palmer Station.
But ultimately, when a person asks USA. Thus, the contiguous United States will be the main focus of this article — and in the contiguous USA, there are 4 main time zones.
United States — Video
Take a journey across the USA — a 1 month journey condensed into 16 minutes.
What Time Is It In America? There Are 4 Main Time Zones
There are 4 main time zones within the contiguous United States. The contiguous United States refers to those states that are south of Canada and north of Mexico. There are 48 states in total that are adjoining. States such as Alaska and Hawaii are non–contiguous.
|A map of the United States. The east coast of the USA is on the right side of the map. The west coast of the USA is on the left side of the map — map copyright Time Genie.|
The 4 Main Time Zones in the USA
* Please note:
→ Learn more about the time zones in Arizona.
Time Zone Data
|Time Zone||Standard Time||Daylight Saving Time|
|Eastern Time||ET||Eastern Standard Time||EST||GMT -5||Eastern Daylight Time||EDT||GMT -4|
|Central Time||CT||Central Standard Time||CST||GMT -6||Central Daylight Time||CDT||GMT -5|
|Mountain Time||MT||Mountain Standard Time||MST||GMT -7||Mountain Daylight Time||MDT||GMT -6|
|Pacific Time||PT||Pacific Standard Time||PST||GMT -8||Pacific Daylight Time||PDT||GMT -7|
|Standard time zone map of the USA. You can download this map in PDF format.|
The Eastern Time Zone is, by default, the de facto time zone. This is because when it is 9 PM on the east coast, it is still 6 PM on the west coast.
When it comes to TV or broadcast schedules, the eastern time always appears first followed by the central time zone. If there is a third number, it would be the pacific time zone. The mountain time zone is, unfortunately, ignored.
9 Eastern, 8 Central, 6 Pacific
9/8CIn the above example, the 9 refers to the eastern time zones. But it also means 9 in the pacific time zone. TheCrefers to the central time zone. Thus, the TV show would appear at 8 in the central time zone.
Many sporting events or live broadcasts will simply say9 Eastern, 6 Pacific. You then need to deduce that 9 eastern is 8 central and 7 mountain.
Daylight Saving Time
Most, but not all, cities or states in the USA observe daylight saving time (DST).
→ At 2 AM local time, clocks are advanced 1 hour on the second Sunday in March.
→ At 2 AM local time, clocks go back 1 hour on the first Sunday in November.
US Time Zone Chart
Click a heading to sort the table.
|Eastern Time||Central Time||Mountain Time||Pacific Time|
|00:00||12:00 AM||23:00||11:00 PM||22:00||10:00 PM||21:00||9:00 PM|
|01:00||1:00 AM||00:00||12:00 AM||23:00||11:00 PM||22:00||10:00 PM|
|02:00||2:00 AM||01:00||1:00 AM||00:00||12:00 AM||23:00||11:00 PM|
|03:00||3:00 AM||02:00||2:00 AM||01:00||1:00 AM||00:00||12:00 AM|
|04:00||4:00 AM||03:00||3:00 AM||02:00||2:00 AM||01:00||1:00 AM|
|05:00||5:00 AM||04:00||4:00 AM||03:00||3:00 AM||02:00||2:00 AM|
|06:00||6:00 AM||05:00||5:00 AM||04:00||4:00 AM||03:00||3:00 AM|
|07:00||7:00 AM||06:00||6:00 AM||05:00||5:00 AM||04:00||4:00 AM|
|08:00||8:00 AM||07:00||7:00 AM||06:00||6:00 AM||05:00||5:00 AM|
|09:00||9:00 AM||08:00||8:00 AM||07:00||7:00 AM||06:00||6:00 AM|
|10:00||10:00 AM||09:00||9:00 AM||08:00||8:00 AM||07:00||7:00 AM|
|11:00||11:00 AM||10:00||10:00 AM||09:00||9:00 AM||08:00||8:00 AM|
|12:00||12:00 PM||11:00||11:00 AM||10:00||10:00 AM||09:00||9:00 AM|
|13:00||1:00 PM||12:00||12:00 PM||11:00||11:00 AM||10:00||10:00 AM|
|14:00||2:00 PM||13:00||1:00 PM||12:00||12:00 PM||11:00||11:00 AM|
|15:00||3:00 PM||14:00||2:00 PM||13:00||1:00 PM||12:00||12:00 PM|
|16:00||4:00 PM||15:00||3:00 PM||14:00||2:00 PM||13:00||1:00 PM|
|17:00||5:00 PM||16:00||4:00 PM||15:00||3:00 PM||14:00||2:00 PM|
|18:00||6:00 PM||17:00||5:00 PM||16:00||4:00 PM||15:00||3:00 PM|
|19:00||7:00 PM||18:00||6:00 PM||17:00||5:00 PM||16:00||4:00 PM|
|20:00||8:00 PM||19:00||7:00 PM||18:00||6:00 PM||17:00||5:00 PM|
|21:00||9:00 PM||20:00||8:00 PM||19:00||7:00 PM||18:00||6:00 PM|
|22:00||10:00 PM||21:00||9:00 PM||20:00||8:00 PM||19:00||7:00 PM|
|23:00||11:00 PM||22:00||10:00 PM||21:00||9:00 PM||20:00||8:00 PM|
States with Locations in the Eastern Time Zone
States with Locations in the Central Time Zone
States with Locations in the Mountain Time Zone
States with Locations in the Pacific Time Zone
States with Locations in the Alaska Time Zone
States with Locations in the Hawaii–Aleutian Time Zone
States with Multiple Time Zones
Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas.
Unofficial Time Zones in the USA