Oregon and Idaho are divided between mountain and Pacific time zones. Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, North and South Dakota are divided between the central and mountainous time zones. Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee are divided between the eastern and central time zones. There are 37 time zones in the world and six of them (or seven during daylight saving time) cover the 50 states that make up the United States.
Within those time zones, 13 states are divided into two zones. Very often, only a small portion of these states are in a different time zone than the rest of the state. But South Dakota, Kentucky and Tennessee have almost halved due to the change in time zones. This is not unusual, as time zones around the world zigzag along lines of length without a distinctive pattern.
But why are time zones like that and how exactly is the United States divided? Time zones are crooked because it's up to each government to regulate them in their country. There are standard time zones for the world, but where exactly those zones are located and whether to divide the country according to them is a decision made by individual nations. The United States, for example, had its time zones standardized by Congress. When drawing the boundaries for the first time, officials tried to avoid dividing metropolitan areas and took into account other factors that could have complicated the lives of residents in each area.
Time zone lines actually follow state boundaries, but that's certainly not always the case, as you'll see in the following 13 states. Most western states are in the Pacific time zone. Idaho and Oregon are the two states with small portions after mountain weather. From Arizona and New Mexico to Montana, the southwestern and Rocky Mountain states mostly use mountain time.
Arizona (other than the Navajo Nation) does not observe daylight saving time and therefore shares time, as an MST state, with the Pacific states during daylight saving time. However, this time zone crosses the borders of a few states, leaving five states with a time division between Central and Mountain. On the other side of the center of the United States is another time zone line that divides five states between the central and eastern time zones. Alaska is the country's largest state, so it stands to reason that it's in two time zones.
But did you know that Alaska actually has its own time zone? This zone, called the Alaska time zone, covers almost every part of the state. The exceptions in Alaska are the Aleutian Islands and St. Lawrence Island, which are located in the Hawaii-Aleutian time zone. Twelve Mile Circle: An Appreciation of Unusual Places (Scroll down if the article doesn't appear) I keep getting visitors on my website looking for the list of “13 states” divided by time zones.
There must be some kind of trivia quiz, treasure hunt, or homeschooling task in progress. Otherwise, it's too strange a coincidence to contemplate. In some cases, there are cities that recognize time zones unofficially. Phenix City, Alabama, is a suburb of Columbus, Georgia, so it follows Eastern Time informally to align with its larger neighbor.
Kenton, Oklahoma (at the western end of the panhandle) informally recognizes Mountain Time to align with its New Mexico neighbors three miles away and its Colorado neighbors six miles away. However, these are not legal designations. Therefore, neither Alabama nor Oklahoma can be described as being divided by a time zone in a proper sense. Don't you love being the answer to the questionnaire and no one thanks you? I was giving the right answer, and I even put it at the top of the page, but none of those cheaters thanked me.
Tom, we provide a thankless service to billions. That's right, I said BILLIONS. You probably know this, but Arizona has its own “Arizona time”, which is the same as Mountain Time in winter and the same as Pacific Time in summer. Since some parts of Arizona are in the proper mountain season, that state is also divided into time zones.
The weather in Arizona is fascinating and extremely complicated. I've presented it from a couple of different perspectives that I think you might find interesting here and here. However, remember that time zones in the United States are determined by the federal government and that states can determine whether or not to recognize daylight saving time within that federal framework. In the case of Arizona, the state has decided NOT to recognize daylight saving time.
The Navajo Nation, which crosses into Arizona, DOES recognize daylight saving time (and the enclaves of the Hopi Nation within the Navajo Nation DO NOT). However, all of Arizona is still within the boundaries of the mountain time zone as defined by the federal government, so technically it is not divided, even though there are time differences during certain periods of the year when daylight saving time is in effect. Phenix City, Alabama, as noted above, follows Eastern Standard Time informally. However, this is not a legal designation.
I know I'm quite late to the party, but Irina is right. The Code of Federal Regulations is NOT the United States Code. They are two different documents, on two different websites, but (unfortunately and as expected) with confusingly similar names and title numbers. Title 49 of both documents is called “Transportation”.
The link in the article goes to the right location, but it's called USC, not CFR. Amanda, nice work with pompous Ed's well-deserved outfit. If anyone wants to be confused about what time zone they are in relative to daylight saving time, go to Creston, British Columbia. My father-in-law lived there and we would argue during the summer about what time it was in his city.
There is absolutely subtitle A in Title 49, and Section 71 of that subtitle describes the time zone limits of all states. Four counties in Kansas observe central time, while four counties on the state's western border are in mountain time. The western section of the Cornhusker state of Nebraska, together with the counties in the state's time slot, follows the time zone of the mountains. That is, even if you and your co-workers live in the same state, there could still be conflicts over time.
Railroads advocated the standardization of time zones to improve their programming and make their operations safer. You probably know this, but Arizona has its own “Arizona time”, which is the same as mountain time in winter and the same as Pacific time in summer. The Riggins time zone bridge, which crosses the Salmon River, divides the Pacific time zone from the mountain time zone. The good news is that identifying the time difference and scheduling a meeting is easier with World Time Server's time tools.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, observes the central time zone, while the second largest city in the state follows the mountain time zone. Almost all of Arizona observes mountain time, even if it's mountain daylight saving time or mountain standard time in the state. . .