Difference Between PST and PDT

The Pacific Time Zone is one of the 25 available zones currently covering parts of the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico.


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These places have their standard time calculated as Universal Time – 8 Hours. Universal Time is also called Coordinated Universal Time, the successor of GMT.

Key Takeaways

  1. PST (Pacific Standard Time) is the time zone used in parts of the United States and Canada when observing standard time, while PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) is the time zone used in the same region during daylight saving time.
  2. PST is eight hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-8), while PDT is seven hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-7).
  3. The transition between PST and PDT occurs twice a year: clocks are set forward one hour in the spring to observe daylight saving time (PDT) and set back one hour in the fall to return to standard time (PST).


The difference between PST and PDT is the standard time followed during November and mid-March, while PDT is followed from mid-March to November.


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In short, PST is followed during the winter months, and PDT is followed during the summer months of a calendar year. PDT is kept one hour ahead of the PST to observe longer days.

PST is followed in a particular season, and another time zone exists that is 7 hours behind the Universal Time called PDT; this is observed in a certain period apart from PST.

PST and PDT are followed one after the other in a calendar year. PST surpasses the next calendar year, while PDT is observed in the same year.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonPacific Standard TimePacific Daylight Time
DefinitionPacific Standard Time is the time followed during the Winter. It is observed in the US, Canada, and Mexico countries.Pacific Daylight Time is observed during the Summer in the same places where PST is followed.
Time FramePST is followed from Early November to Mid MarchPDT is observed from Mid March to Early November
UTC Difference8 hours behind UTC7 Hours Behind UTC
Time DifferenceIt is the standard time, and it remains the same.Time is kept one hour ahead of PST.
BenefitsShorted Winter DaysLonger Summer days and Energy shall be conserved.


What is PST?

Pacific Standard Time is the time zone followed in some parts of Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It is the standard time that is observed during the Winter season.

Ideally, the months that they follow the PST are from Early November of every year to the Mid of March of the following year. In Winter, the PST is 8 hours behind Universal Time.

It is observed that Pacific Standard Time is used in Winter to reduce the day. There are places in the countries mentioned that completely follow the PST.

In Canada, only Yukon is entirely under the Pacific Time Zone. Further, the Northwest Territories and British Columbia partially follow, while the other parts follow the Mountain Zone.

In the United States of America, two states completely fall under Pacific Standard Time. They are California and Washington. As with parts of Canada, a few states in the US are also split among PST and Mountain Time Zone.


What is PDT?

Pacific Daylight Time is the time zone followed during the Summer months in the places where PST is followed. It is again observed in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

PDT is the other way around PST in following the time zone. It begins from Mid March every year and gets in the Early November of the same year.

The Energy Policy act of 2005, passed by the US government, altered the PDT dates that were followed for many years. The policy states to change the time one hour ahead on the second Sunday of March every year.

Subsequently, PDT is set back to PST on the First Sunday in November. Earlier, it was 1st Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.


Main Differences Between PST and PDT

  • The two time zones belong to the exact locations. However, the main difference between PST and PDT is, PST is followed during Winter while PDT is followed during Summer.
  • Pacific Standard Time begins in Early November of every year; it continues till the mid of March of the following year. Pacific Daylight Time starts in the Mid of March and extends till early November.
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