Central Standard Time Zone

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CST is UTC-6
CST is UTC-6

The Central Standard Time Zone (CST) is a geographic region in the Americas that keeps time by subtracting six hours from UTC (UTC-6).

In Canada, this time zone includes all of Manitoba, nearly all of Saskatchewan, a slice of western Ontario, and central Nunavut.

In the United States, the time zone includes the entire area of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin; and portions of Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas. Phenix City, Alabama and the surrounding countryside, while officially in Central Time, observe Eastern Time unofficially because of close ties to Columbus, Georgia.

The time zone also covers most of Mexico, excluding six north-western states; the Central American countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica; and the Ecuadorian province of Galápagos.

Daylight Saving Time is in effect in much of the time zone between early April and late October. The modified time is called Central Daylight Time (CDT) and is UTC-5. Saskatchewan, Central America and Galápagos do not observe the change, remaining on Standard Time year round. One reason that Saskatchewan does not take part in the time change as most of the province should be placed in the Mountain Time Zone. To avoid this they have moved onto 'Permanent' daylight savings by being part of the Central Time Zone.

Broadcasting concerns

Due to the structure of broadcasting networks in the United States (mostly television but to a lesser extent radio), programming is aired simultaneously in the Eastern and Central Time Zones. This arrangement is mostly acceptable, though morning programming lineups designed for East Coast viewers may start too early for viewers in the Midwest. Similarly, media coverage of New Year's Eve celebrations in New York City often leave the Central Time Zone in a lurch. Late Night with Conan O'Brien, though produced in New York, regularly takes advantage of its later time slot to lampoon this inconsistency and produce its own New Year's countdown for television viewers in the Central Time Zone.

Canadian broadcasting networks, with six time zones to span, avoid these issues by airing prerecorded programs on local time. The problem is largely moot in Mexico and other parts of Latin America because of the lack of significant other time zones.

Major Metropolitan Areas

See also

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