Alaska Time Zone

The Alaska Time Zone recognizes a standard time by adjusting their clocks nine hours backwards from Coordinated Universal Time resulting in the commonly used term UTC – 09:00.

The clock time within the Atlantic Time Zone is primarily founded on the principles dominant of the mean solar time of the 135th meridian west of the London based Greenwich Observatory. Regions which fall under the Alaska Time Zone when observing daylight saving time till offset their clocks by one hour less than the standard Alaska Time to become UTC – 08:00.

The Alaska Time Zone is known to include almost the entire United States state of Alaska and falls one hour behind the Pacific Standard Time.

Daylight Saving Time for the Alaska Time Zone.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 which became effective in the United States in 2007 as form of amendment to the Uniform Time act of 1966. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 which was enacted on April 13, 1966 was set forth as a federal law in the United States to promote the adoption of a unified time within the standard time zones as suggested by the 1918 Standard Time Act. This policy with reference to the Alaska Time Zone and its included territories resulted in a change in the local time from Alaska Standard Time to Alaska Daylight Time at 02:00 local standard time to 03:00 local daylight time on the second Sunday in the month of March and returning to 02:00 local daylight time to 01:00 local standard time on the first Sunday in the month of November.

The Standard Time Act which was set forth in 1918 approved a United States regulatory agency created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 known as the Interstate Commerce Commission or ICC to determine and regulate the respective time zones. During this period the Time Zone specified for the United States Alaska Time was selected as UTC – 10:00. Sources prior to 1967 were found to refer to the Alaska Time Zone as Central Alaska Time or more commonly Alaska Standard Time. Nonetheless the Uniform Time Act of 1966 effective April 1, 1967 aptly renamed the UTC – 10:00 time zone to Alaska – Hawaii Standard Time. The time zone was again renamed in 1983 to Hawaii – Aleutian Standard Time when a large portion of the state of Alaska moved outside of the time zone.

Notably the Alaska Time Zone designated UTC – 09:00 today was previously referred to as the Yukon Standard Time Zone. However in 1975 with the Yukon Territory switching to now observe a Pacific Time Zone, with the exception of the city and borough of Yakutat ; the time zone was not used until the year 1983 when the United States state of Alaska made the decision to move of the state to become UTC – 09:00. Before the Alaska Panhandle Alaskan communities existed within the Pacific Time Zone, even though a large portion of the inner Alaska was observing UTC – 10:00. The chain of volcanic islands extending southwest from the the Alaska Peninsula known as the Aleutians as well as the western Alaska city of Nome prior to today observed a Bearing Standard Time UTC – 11:00.

The Alaska Time Zone also governs the eastern territories of the state of Alaska. Given the fact that UTC – 09:00 has a close similarity with the solar time for the capital of Alaska, Juneau, the westernmost locations of the Alaska Time Zone can be considered as off by as much as up to 34 degrees from a local solar time. What this in effect means is, whenever a clock is set to Noon accordingly to observe the Alaska Time Zone at a given location of just east of the local solar time; the actual time would be around 09:42 a.m. This becomes more apparent during daylight saving time when UTC – 08:00 is applied during the summer months.

An example of this anomaly can be seen at noon on the 12th of June Alaska daylight time where the solar time occurring at the most western regions of the Alaska Time Zone will record a time of just 08:42 a.m. Not many people actually notice this change, nonetheless, as many of these regions are scarcely inhabited, not to mention the light population of known residents occupying the areas, the long summer days and short winter months are generally considered as having little importance than territories which are located closer to the equator. Contrastingly mean solar noon in the Alaskan capital Juneau which is positioned much closer to the 135th meridian actually occurs at 11:57 a.m just three minutes off from the actual noontime.

Visitors to the southern seaport city of Alaska known as Anchorage who have traveled from more southernly latitudes are often astonished to find the sunset on the summer solstice occurring at 11:41 p.m, despite the actual solar time being 09:41 p.m. This is due to the fact that at 150 degrees west, Anchorage falls behind by one full solar hour of the legal time zone additionally observing daylight saving time. Most locals have preferred to acknowledge this unusual occurrence as what has been known as a “double-daylight time”. Within Alaska’s largest city Fairbanks, located in the central part of the state a similar natural event takes place at 12;47 a.m the following calendar day, when the solar sunset takes place at 11:01 p.m.

During the winter months, even without the observance of daylight saving time, another abnormal event which occurs is that on the winter solstice in the city of Nome on the southern Seaward Peninsula coast on the Norton Sound of the Bering Sea where the sunrise actually begins sometime after noon at around 12:02 p.m and just about 4 hours before sunset which occurs as 3:56 p.m.

The state of Alaska and its territories spans across a total distance which covers almost the entire longitude of the United States which has resulted in a number of distortions in the use of two time zones. By nature Alaska would fall within not two but four time zones; however due to a number of provisional and political considerations the state has resorted to the use of two time standard time zones which has resulted in the anomalies mentioned before.