If you’re going to be travelling though the states, you will need to know which ones are considered central time zone states. The United States has nine different standard time zones. They are the Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaskan, Hawaii-Aleutian, Samoa and Chamorro time zones. Central Standard Time is six hours behind coordinated universal time. If you know this, you can calculate the time of any one of these states without being there.
- States that Only Use Central Standard Time – There are many states that observe Central Standard Time. However, you will notice that some states only use it in select counties. Out of all of the ones that use it, ten are considered central time zone states. This means they use Central Standard Time throughout the entire state. In case you're unaware, these states include Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
- States that also Use Mountain Time – There are five central time zone states that also have parts that observe Mountain Time. For instance, the eastern half of South Dakota uses Mountain Time. It can be confusing if you’re visiting or moving to one of these states. However, you will catch on pretty fast to which counties use what. The five states are Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas.
- States that also use Eastern Time – Some central time zone states also observe Eastern Time. The ones that do this include Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. If you are on the western half of Kentucky, you will use Eastern Time. If you’re on the eastern half of the state, you will use Central Standard Time. The same thing goes for the other four states because they are divided by specific regions.
- Daylight Savings Time - Most places in the country participate in daylight savings time. For this reason, Central Standard Time becomes CDT in the summer. CDT is like Central Standard Time, but it's only five hours behind coordinated universal time. When you're figuring out what time it is, make sure to incorporate daylight savings time into your calculations.