What does it refer to?
The Eastern Standard Time, abbreviated EST, refers to the standard time that is on the 5th time zone that is on the west of the Greenwich Meridian. This time zone is reckoned 75 degrees west of the Greenwich and it encompasses most of the eastern parts of the United States. It is also the time zone used in Canada and in a few countries of South America. All places using it are five hours before the universal time, UTC-05:00. This is during winter and autumn.
On the northern parts of the time zone on second Sunday of March when it is 2:00 AM EST, clocks are moved forward by one hour to 3:00 AM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). Conversely, on the first Sunday of the month of November when it is 2:00 AM EDT, clocks are usually moved back by one hour to 1:00 AM. However, some southern parts that include Panama and Caribbean territory do not take into consideration the daylight saving time.
In addition, the act of Uniform Time led to an institution of EDT to the last Sunday in April across the United States with effect from 1966. This meant that EST would again be observed on October, the last Sunday. In 1987, there were amendments of the EDT to the first Sunday of April of that year. Furthermore, there were some other changes instituted by Energy Policy Act in 2005 that saw an extension in the daylight saving and this began to take effect from 2007. This means that there were some changes in timing and 2:00 AM EST would become 3:00 AM EDT in March the second Sunday. This also reflected that 2.00 AM EDT would become 1:00 AM EDT in November first Sunday. These changes are the same in Canada and the United States of America.
Locations observing EST
The following regions in Canada are some observing Eastern Standard Time:
- Ontario, the whole location uses EST except some western areas like the Thunder Bay although Atikokan is included in the timing.
- Quebec. However, far eastern parts like the Cote-Nord and Magdalen Islands are not included in the timing.
- East/Central Nunavut uses EST. This includes places like the Melville Peninsula, Ellesmere, Baffin Islands, Iqaluit and Southampton Island although they do not observe DST.
The United States
The Columbia district including 17 states uses Eastern Standard Time: New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland and Georgia.
Additionally six states of America are split between EST and CST (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00):
- Alabama. This state uses officially CST but there are different communities that do observe EST, like Phenix City, Lannet, Valley and Smiths Station.
- Florida. This state uses EST but some portions like the Florida Panhandle, which is on the Eastern part of Apalachicola River is not part of the timing.
- Indiana. The entire state observes EST all the year except in Cincinnati and Louisville, which observe EDT during spring and summer.
- Kentucky. The eastern part of Kentucky uses EST while the western part observes CST.
- Michigan uses EST except a few areas in Upper Peninsula, which use CST.
- Tennessee. Most of the state uses EST as the legal time. Some counties such as Cumberland, Marion and Bledsoe use CST.