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North American Central Time Zone

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North American Central Time Zone

This article is about the time zone in North America. For other uses, see Central Standard Time (disambiguation).

Template:Infobox time zone (North America)

The Central Time Zone is a time zone in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, some Caribbean Islands, and part of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Time in the zone is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time - GMT). During daylight saving time (DST), time in the zone is five hours behind GMT. It is also commonly referred to as Central Standard Time CST or Chicago Standard Time. Any of these names are appropriate.

Regions using Central Time


Main article: Time in Canada

The province of Manitoba is the only province or territory in Canada that observes Central Time in all areas.

The following Canadian provinces and territories observe Central Time in the areas noted, while their other areas observe Eastern Time:

Also, most of the province of Saskatchewan is on Central Standard Time year round. Because Saskatchewan is wholly within the Central Time Zone, it is effectively on DST year round. Major exceptions include Lloydminster, a town situated on the boundary between Alberta and Saskatchewan where the town charter stipulates that it shall observe Mountain Time and DST, putting the town on the same time as all of Alberta, including the major cities of Calgary and Edmonton.

United States

The Central Time Zone is the second most populous in the US after the Eastern Time Zone. Many states straddle time zone boundaries.


Main article: Time in Mexico

Most of Mexico—roughly the eastern three-fourths—lies in the Central Time Zone, with six of the northwestern states being exceptions: Baja California (Norte), Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora.

The states of Mexico that observe Central Time in their entireties:

Mexico City, which is coterminous with the Federal District (Distrito Federal), also uses Central Time.

In Nayarit, however, only the municipality of Bahia de Banderas uses Central Time.

Central America and Caribbean Islands


Eastern Pacific islands and other areas

Central Daylight Time

Daylight saving time (DST) is in effect in much of the Central time zone between mid-March and early November. The modified time is called Central Daylight Time (CDT) and is UTC−5. In Canada, Saskatchewan does not observe a time change. One reason that Saskatchewan does not take part in a time change is that, geographically, the entire province is closer to the Mountain Time Zone's meridian. The province elected to move onto "permanent" daylight saving by being part of the Central Time Zone. The only exception is the region immediately surrounding the Saskatchewan side of the biprovincial city of Lloydminster, which has chosen to use Mountain Time with DST, synchronizing its clocks with those of Alberta.

In those areas of the Canadian and American time zones that observe DST, beginning in 2007, the local time changes at 02:00 local standard time to 03:00 local daylight time on the second Sunday in March and returns at 02:00 local daylight time to 01:00 local standard time on the first Sunday in November. Mexico decided not to go along with this change and observes their horario de verano from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October. In December 2009, the Mexican Congress allowed ten border cities, eight of which are in states that observe Central Time, to adopt the U.S. daylight time schedule effective in 2010.

Alphabetical list of major Central Time Zone metropolitan areas

See also

  • Effects of time on North American broadcasting


External links

  • World time zone map
  • History of U.S. time zones and UTC conversion
  • The official U.S. time for the Central Time Zone
  • Cities in CST
  • Official times across Canada

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