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Daylight Saving Time Begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 8


Last updated 3/5/2020 at 11:34am

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, during 2020, daylight saving time (DST) is in effect from March 8 at 2 a.m. (local time) to Nov. 1 at 2 a.m. (local time).

What are the DST rules?

The rules for DST changed in 2007 for the first time in more than 20 years. The new changes were enacted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the length of DST in the interest of reducing energy consumption. The rules increased the duration of DST by about one month. DST is now in effect for 238 days, or about 65 percent of the year, although the U.S. Congress retained the right to revert to the prior law should the change prove unpopular or if energy savings are not significant. At present, daylight saving time in the United States begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March an ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November

What is daylight saving time?

Daylight saving time, or DST, is the period of the year when clocks are moved one hour ahead. In the United States, this has the effect of creating more sunlit hours in the evening during months when the weather is the warmest. We advance our clocks ahead one hour at the beginning of DST, and move them back one hour (“spring forward, fall back”) when we return to standard time (ST). The transition from ST to DST has the effect of moving one hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. The transition from DST to ST effectively moves one hour of daylight from the evening to the morning.

DST was formally introduced in the United States in 1918. Today, most of the country and its territories observe DST. However, DST is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the state of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation, which does observe DST).

Daylight saving time and time zones are regulated by the U. S. Department of Transportation, not by NIST. However, as an official timekeeper for the United States, NIST observes all rules regarding DST when it distributes time-of-day information to the public.

I have a radio controlled clock that receives NIST time. How will the DST rules affect me?

Your radio controlled clock should automatically implement the DST rules. The WWVB broadcast contains information that tells your clock whether DST or ST is currently in effect. NIST always sends this information to agree with the current DST rules, so your clock should change automatically on the day of the change, just as it has in previous years. If the time is wrong after the DST change, make sure that your clock has recently received the time signal. Many radio controlled clocks have a synchronization indicator that will tell you if your clock has recently synchronized. If the clock isn't receiving the signal, click here for some tips on improving reception. If it has received the signal recently, check to make sure that the clock's time zone setting is set properly. Also, if you live in an area where DST is not observed (Arizona, for example), you need to disable the automatic DST function on your clock.

Some clocks have the old date rule programmed in and do not use the part of the time code which designates whether or not daylight saving time is in effect. These clocks will switch on the wrong date. The time zone or DST ON/OFF function might need to be switched temporarily so the clock shows the correct hour for the period between the transition dates according to the old rules and the new rules.


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