Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Central Standard Time Zone
The Central Standard Time Zone (CST) is a geographic region that keeps time by subtracting six hours from UTC.
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.
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 does not observe the change, remaining on Standard Time year round.
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 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 Latin America because of the lack of significant other time zones.
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