Time in Alaska
Alaska is officially covered by two time zones, as described below:
- Aleutian Islands west of −169.5° (169°30′W) – Islands of Four Mountains, Andreanof Islands, Rat Islands and Near Islands – are in the Hawaii–Aleutian Time Zone (UTC−10:00, DST UTC−09:00). Daylight saving time (DST) is observed.
- The rest of the state is in the Alaska Time Zone and observes DST (UTC−09:00, DST UTC−08:00).
The town of Hyder, because it essentially is a single town split by the border between the United States and Canada, unofficially observes Pacific Time including DST (UTC−08:00, DST UTC−07:00) like its neighbor Stewart, British Columbia, with the exception of the U.S. Post Office (because it is a federal facility).
As part of Russian America, Alaska used the Julian calendar and the same day of the week as Asia. On October 6, 1867 (in the Julian calendar) (October 18 (in the Gregorian calendar)), Alaska became a United States territory (Alaska Purchase), and began using the Gregorian calendar and the same day of the week as the Americas. The switch was achieved by repeating the same day of the week and skipping 11 days of the month, so that Friday, October 6 (Julian) was followed by Friday, October 18 (Gregorian).
Before time zones were introduced, every place used local observation of the sun to set its clocks, which meant that every location used a different local mean time based on its longitude. For example, Sitka, the capital of Alaska at the time, at longitude 135°20′W, had a local time equivalent to UTC+14:59 under Russia and UTC−09:01 under the United States.
On August 20, 1900, time zones were introduced in Alaska, and the territory was divided into four time zones:
- The west coast (including Nome) and the Aleutian Islands used UTC−11:00 (Bering Time).
- Most of Alaska, including Anchorage and Fairbanks, used UTC−10:00 (Alaska–Hawaii Time).
- Yakutat used UTC−09:00 (Yukon Time).
- Southeast Alaska, including Juneau, used UTC−08:00 (Pacific Time).
In 1942–1945, all of the United States, including Alaska, added one hour compared to other years. In 1967, daylight saving time was introduced uniformly in the United States, and Alaska began observing it in 1968.
In 1983, Alaska switched to two time zones. Most areas moved to UTC−09:00, which was renamed Alaska Time Zone. Most of the Aleutian islands, previously on Bering Time, moved to UTC−10:00, renamed Hawaii–Aleutian Time Zone. One hour is added for daylight saving time during spring and summer.
The tz database version 2021a contains seven time zones for Alaska for historical reasons. Only three (America/Adak, America/Anchorage, and America/Metlakatla) are currently in use.
|CC||Coordinates||TZ||Comments||UTC offset||UTC offset DST||Notes|
|US||+611305−1495401||America/Anchorage||Alaska (most areas)||−09:00||−08:00|
|US||+581807−1342511||America/Juneau||Alaska - Juneau area||−09:00||−08:00|
|US||+571035−1351807||America/Sitka||Alaska - Sitka area||−09:00||−08:00|
|US||+593249−1394338||America/Yakutat||Alaska - Yakutat||−09:00||−08:00|
|US||+550737−1313435||America/Metlakatla||Alaska - Annette Island||−09:00||−08:00|
- "Exceptions, Oddities and Notes". OnTimeZone.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
- When the Day After Friday is Friday, Now I Know, May 9, 2017.
- Time Zone in Sitka, Alaska, USA, Timeanddate.com.
- Time Zone in Nome, Alaska, USA, Timeanddate.com.
- Time Zone in Adak, Alaska, USA, Timeanddate.com.
- Time Zone in Anchorage, Alaska, USA, Timeanddate.com.
- Time Zone in Yakutat, Alaska, USA, Timeanddate.com.
- Time Zone in Juneau, Alaska, USA, Timeanddate.com.
- Wallace Turner (1983-11-01). "Alaska's four time zones now two". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
The big change was in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka, the major towns in southeast Alaska, where clocks shifted back two hours to Yukon time. After decades on Pacific time, this region will now be an hour earlier, as will Anchorage and Fairbanks, which formerly were two hours earlier than Pacific time.