What is the Difference Between CDT and EST Time Zones?

What is the Difference Between CDT and EST Time Zones?
What is the Difference Between CDT and EST Time Zones?

Sometimes, living in separate time zones from a best friend or pen pal can be a real pain to navigate. However, it is undeniably neat to learn what time zones are and why the world runs on them. Ever wondered the answer to the question: what is the difference between CDT and EST time zones?

According to Date and Time.com, the abbreviation “CDT” refers to “Central Daylight Time,” while the abbreviation “EST” refers to Eastern Standard Time. Eastern Standard Time is one hour ahead of Central Daylight time when measured by the Coordinated Universal Time. CDT is only used during Daylight Savings, while EST is only used outside of Daylight Savings.

In this article, we’ll not only cover what both Central Daylight Time and Eastern Standard Time are, but how they compare to one another. Let’s get started!

What is CDT?

As previously mentioned, “CDT” is an abbreviation of the name, “Central Daylight Time.” It is the alternate title of Central Time (which has been abbreviated as CT and CST.)  It is a time zone observed in North America, which starts on the second Sunday of March and follows through to the first Sunday in the month of November.

When the first Sunday of November does roll around, the time zone switches back to Central Standard Time for the winter months. Therefore, as mentioned above, CDT is just a conditional time zone used for the summer months. 

Central Daylight Time is 5 hours behind the basis for time kept in civil circles, which is called “UTC” and otherwise known as the time standard of the world. It is also, technically, one hour behind Eastern Standard Time.

Where is Central Daylight Time Observed?

There are several states and counties within those states which observe Central Daylight Time. In fact, not only do these states observe this time, but a few countries outside of the United States of America do, as well. These include Canadian Provinces and Mexican states.

These are the second most eastern states, running along the eastern center of the United States continent and extending up into provinces of Canada like Manitoba, Saskatchewan’s Creighton and Denare Beach, and everything in Ontario west of 90 West. 

What is EST?

As was detailed above, “EST” is a shortened way to say “Eastern Standard Time.” In the same way that Central Standard Time is the winter version of Central Daylight Time, Eastern Standard Time is the winter version of Eastern Daylight Time.

Therefore, because Central Daylight Time begins in March and ends in November, when Eastern Standard Time is beginning, the two are technically not normally compared. It is sometimes called “Eastern Time” or even “Eastern Time Zone.” 

When it comes to the Coordinated Universal Time (or, as mentioned above, the UTC) Eastern Standard Time is 5 hours behind. If you did want to compare it to Central Daylight Time, though they are not observed during the same periods of the year, it is technically one hour ahead of CDT. 

Where is Eastern Standard Time Observed?

The Eastern Standard Time Zone is used by about half of the total population living in the United States of America; specifically, 23 states in the most Eastern part of the U.S., including South Carolina, Florida, and North Carolina.

It also covers three of Canada’s provinces, including all of Nunavut except for Cambridge Bay and Cugluktuk, all of Ontario east of 90 West, and all of Quebec except for the eastern half of 63 West and Blanc Sablon. Quintana Roo, a Mexican state, also uses Eastern Standard Time all year and does not switch to EDT.

Frequently Asked Questions:

If you had a question that was not answered in the information above comparing Eastern Standard Time to Central Daylight Time, not to worry! We’ve prepared a Frequently Asked Questions section below to expand on the information you’re looking for.

Is EST the same as CDT?

While it is tempting to avoid calculations and assume that CDT and EST are both running at the same time relative to the UTC, it is not true. What makes the issue even more confusing is that, technically, CDT is never observed at the same time as EST.

This is because CDT is only observed in the summer, and EST is only observed in the winter. Both are observed in parts of the United States, but CDT is observed in the central states of America, while EST is observed in the easternmost states.

They are one hour apart from each other, with EST being an hour farther ahead of CDT.

How do you convert CDT to EST?

To tell what time it is in EST relative to CDT, or vice versa, you can simply add or subtract one hour depending on where you are. 

For example, if you are living in a Central Time Zone wondering what time it is in an Eastern Time Zone, add 1 hour from your time. If you are living in an Eastern Time Zone and wondering what time it is in a Central Time Zone, subtract 1 hour from your time!

Is Texas CDT or EST?

Texas is mainly Central Time, only switching into Central Daylight Time or CDT in the months between March and November. The only exceptions to this are Hudspeth County and El Paso, which are observant of MT or Mountain Time. 

What States Use CDT Time?

The only states that use CDT time technically do so between March and November before switching over into the winter or standard time, CST. 

The United States that do observe CDT in the summer months are: Texas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Michigan, North Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana, Kansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Minnesota, Illinois, Louisiana, and Iowa.

In Conclusion

To sum everything up, there are two main differences to Central Daylight Time (CDT) and Eastern Standard Time (EST.) The first is the time difference between the two: CDT is one hour behind EST. 

The second difference is the fact that while CDT is observed in central states of North America during the summer months, EST is observed during the winter in easternmost states of North America. 

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Time Zones

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!