Difference Between Eastern Time and Pacific Time

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Eastern vs Pacific Time

What is the main difference between Eastern Time and Pacific Time? How do you convert time from EST to PST or vice versa?

Read on to learn the answers to these questions. The following sections provide a detailed discussion on Eastern Time versus Pacific Time.

Related: Difference Between Eastern Standard Time (EST) and Mountain Standard Time (MST)

Times Zones

The globe is divided by an International Date Line that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole. A part of the world on one side of this line is on one date whereas the other part of the world is on the next date. Between the two dates the whole world is divided into different time zones.

Since the IDL passes through 0 degree longitude, an hour’s time is added or subtracted for every 15 degree you move away from it, right or left. So, ideally there should be 24 times zones in the world (360 degrees divided by 15 degrees).

But, not all countries adhere to the one hour difference due to political or economic reasons. Some time zones are just half an hour different from other time zones. Hence, we have more than 24 time zones in the world.

Do not forget to set your watches when you travel between different time zones like when you are going from the eastern coast of North America to the Western coast or vice versa. It will help you avoid missing important calls or meetings.

What is Eastern Time?

Eastern Time vs Pacific Time difference

Eastern Time zone is followed in some states of USA, Canada and Mexico. This time zone is -5 hours from the coordinated universal time (UTC). Some of the major cities and states that come under Eastern Time Zone are:

  • New York (it is also the largest city in the Eastern Time zone)
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Quebec
  • Ontario
  • Bahamas
  • Haiti

The above cities and states follow Eastern Time zone during the winters and Eastern daylight saving time during the summers. The Eastern daylight saving time is -4 hours from UTC.

Some cities that do not follow daylight saving are on Eastern Time throughout the year. They are:

  • Jamaica
  • Panama
  • Cayman Islands

Read: Difference Between GMT and BST: Greenwich Mean Time vs British Summer Time

What is Pacific Time?

Eastern vs Pacific Time

Pacific Time is followed in the western parts of USA, Canada and Mexico. During winters it is Pacific Standard Time which is -8 hours from UTC. During summers it is Pacific daylight saving time which is -7 hours from UTC.

The states and cities that follow Pacific Time are:

  • Los Angeles (It is also the largest city in the Pacific time zone)
  • Washington
  • Nevada
  • Yukon
  • Some parts of British Columbia
  • Baja California

In Mexico the Pacific Time is called Zona Noroest/Northwest zone.

Do not confuse the Pacific daylight saving time with another time zone, the Mountain Time zone which is also minus 7 UTC. This time zone is followed in different regions.

See: Difference Between East Coast and West Coast: East Coast vs West Coast

Difference Between Eastern and Pacific Time

Here is a comparison chart of Eastern Time Versus Pacific Time.

Point of Difference Eastern Time Pacific Time
Regions Eastern parts of North America Western parts of North America
Offset of UTC UTC – 5 for winters, UTC – 4 for summers UTC – 8 for winters, UTC – 7 for summers
Longitude 75 degree West of Greenwich 120 degree West of Greenwich
Other names Eastern Standard Time, North American Eastern Standard Time (NAEST) Pacific standard time, North American Pacific Standard Time (NAPST)

The time difference between Eastern Time and Pacific Time is 3 hours. When you travel from the east coast to west coast just move back your watch by 3 hours and you are set for the day. Hence, if it is 9 a.m. in New York, the time in Los Angeles will be 6 a.m.

Check: What is the Difference Between EST and EDT: Eastern Standard Time vs Eastern Daylight Time

Wrap up – Eastern Time vs Pacific Time Difference

Eastern Time is the time zone followed in the eastern cities of USA, Canada and Mexico. It is 5 hours behind the Universal time during winters and 4 hours behind during summers. Not all regions under this time zone follow daylight saving.

Pacific Time is the time zone followed in the western region of USA, Canada and Mexico. It is 8 hours behind the Universal time during the winters and 7 hours behind during the summers.

The time difference between the Eastern Time and Pacific Time is 3 hours.

When you move from the west coast to the east coast add 3 hours to your watch. When you move from the east coast to the west coast subtract 3 hours.

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Difference Between Eastern Standard Time (EST) and Mountain Standard Time (MST): EST vs MST