The most commonly used abbreviation for time zone is PST (PST) or CDT. It is a standard east-west time zone. Many places use PST even though it is not a legal time zone. A lot of computer systems use PST as a time zone indicator. The abbreviation CDT is used to mean the difference between Eastern Standard Time and Western Standard Time.
Major time zone
The two major time zones are PST and CDT. They are used for all situations where you will be traveling to or from a different time zone. You will encounter people who tell you that the difference is only 2 hours and fifteen minutes. In reality, however, the time zone boundaries are more precise and local time can vary significantly. When you travel outside your local time zone, you are normally outside the time zone which means that you are in a different time zone.
When you travel to or from another state or country, your clocks may be set to reflect the time zone of the region from which you are originating. You adjust your clocks, you must also change your local time so that they reflect the correct time. Because of this complication, Missouri time zone maps are usually printed on top of a sheet of paper with the local time indicated. You need to refer to the map frequently so that you can adjust your clocks accordingly.
International time zones
There are three international time zones in the US. These time zones are PST, CDT and NDT. International aviation operating rules require all aircraft to display their location in their coordinate time zone when communicating with air traffic control. Therefore, if you are flying out of Washington, DC (PST) and flying back to St. Louis (CDT), your time zone will be configured to display St. Louis time. The problem arises if you are flying from another time zone, since your coordinate time zone will display the incorrect Coordinated Universal Time (or UTC) for the time zone where you are currently located.
As mentioned earlier, when you travel to another part of the US, you are required to adjust your clocks to indicate the correct time. If you don’t have an accurate depiction of your local time in your usual environment, you will find it very difficult adjusting your equipment to reflect the correct time. One easy solution to avoid this difficulty is to use the standard time of the state where you are travelling to or from. For example, if you are from Seattle and are heading towards Kansas City, you could convert your local time using one of the following formats: Pacific daylight time (PDT), Central Standard Time (CST), Eastern Standard Time (ESC), or Pacific Ocean Time (POT). In addition to using one of these time zone abbreviations to represent your time zone, you should also be aware that the time zone abbreviation for “Central” is “C”.
Separate time zone
An important point to note about the time zone abbreviations is that although each one represents a separate zone, all of them are written with a capital letter. So, when looking up your local time in a map, the term that you write in the top left corner is “Central daylight saving time”, while the right-hand side tells you what zone you are in. Although there are no daylight saving time rules in most states, it is recommended to practice traveling with at least one (and preferably several) time zone abbreviations on your GPS navigation device so that you won’t get lost or confused.
It can be easy to assume that when it says “noon”, it means four hours ahead of time, but this is not always the case. If you are driving west on I-40, and see that the highway time change signs are saying “2 PM” then don’t become alarmist and assume that you will be on time. Instead, give yourself about an hour to reach your destination. If you drive east on I-40 in the evening, and the highway time change signs are telling you that it is “auri” then be very conservative and plan on being back by midafternoon. If you drive west on I-40 in the evening and the sign tells you that it is “PT morning”, then expect to arrive back on I-40 in the morning (and remember to change lanes).
Remember your time
There are several other ways to remember your times, including using a watch, a computer, or a clock with the date and time engraved onto it. If you don’t already use one of these devices, it may take a little time to get used to them, but it is worth the effort because they make traveling more convenient. The best time zone system for you is one that is based on your current location and where you are headed. If you travel from west to east or vice versa, then consider how you will be adjusting from your current time zone. This way you know ahead of time what time zone you are dealing with.
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