Pacific and Atlantic States will Share the Same Time Tonight

Thanks to daylight saving time and time zones, states on the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts will share the same time tonight.

When we transition from daylight savings time to standard time, adjacent time zones share time for an hour. The eastern time zone “falls back” to standard time and matches the western zone still in daylight savings time until it falls back an hour later.

The table below shows how the Eastern and Central time zones match for an hour, followed by the Central and Mount time zones, and then the Mountain and Pacific time zones.

Time zones do not follow meridian lines between the North and South poles. Instead, they zig and zag so communities don’t get split. Sometimes, a state border is the divider. Other times, not. Notice from the timezone map below that an eastern part of Oregon is in Mountain time and the western panhandle of Florida is in Central time.

Because the Mountain and Central times zones are adjacent, parts of Oregon (a Pacific coast state) and Florida (an Atlantic coast state) will have the same time tonight.

Now you have more to like about “falling back” to standard time than an extra hour of sleep.

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2 responses to “Pacific and Atlantic States will Share the Same Time Tonight”

  1. Kiki Avatar

    Really clever. Back in 2005, I looked at the U.S. code that defined Mountain Time Zone Idaho’s definition. I noticed that that the code placed southern Idaho in Zone 3, which is Central Time. I wrote the U.S. Department of Commerce concerning this error. They never wrote me back but a short-time later the particular code section was corrected to place southern Idaho in Zone 4, Mountain Time. All years between circa 1918 and 2007 southern Idaho was in the Central Time Zone.

    I like your blog. It’s provocative, thoughtful, and purposeful. Really cool.

  2. Brent Logan Avatar

    Kiki, that’s interesting so I had to go confirm.

    The United State’s time zones are defined in 15 U.S. Code § 263. Southern Idaho’s time zone is defined in 15 U.S. Code § 264, as amended. Yup, there’s the amendment.

    Strange (to me) is that the one county that is the exception to Oregon’s normal time zone is defined by regulation, at 49 CFR 71.9.