When does daylight saving time end in the USA and when do the clocks go back?
The annual sign that winter is upon is drawing near as the weather begins to turn. Here's everything you need to know about daylight saving 2020.
As the summer draws to a close you will soon need to set your watches back as daylight saving time (DST) in the US comes to an end for 2020. The vast majority of Americans and Canadians will ‘fall back’ at 02:00 on Sunday 1 November, meaning that clocks will shift backwards by an hour to 01:00.
The switch is always done on the weekend to limit the amount of disruption caused and this year it falls on the night of Halloween, something that will not happen again until 2026. Although it means that cold weather is on its way, the shift does bring with it an extra hour in bed.
Does anywhere in the USA not use daylight savings?
The only state not affected by the shift is Hawaii which has never observed daylight saving. The island state is much more southern than any other part of the US and close enough to the equator that there is no significant difference in sunrise and sunset times across the year.
Arizona has a complicated relationship with daylight savings having experimented with the change in the 1960s before largely opting out. The southern state is in the Mountain Time Zone and does not shift en masse like the rest of the mainland states. The only region of Arizona to observe DST is the Navajo Nation, a Native American territory in the north-east of the state, which also crosses over into New Mexico and Utah.
Why do we use daylight saving?
Despite many thinking that it has its roots in agricultural labour, the origins of daylight saving as we now know it comes from an entomologist from New Zealand named George Hudson. National Geographic details that Hudson was the first to propose a two-hour alteration to give himself more time to go bug-hunting in the summer.
He was the first to suggest the practice but it was a British builder named William Willett who first found fame for the idea, suggesting it to Parliament as a way for the nation as a whole to make better use of daylight. Willett died in 1915 without his idea having caught on but a year after his death the German government, desperate to save energy during the First World War, decided to implement seasonal time changes.
It must have had quite an impact because by 1918 the United Kingdom and the US were both employing ‘daylight saving’ and it soon spread around the world. Around 70 countries now use daylight saving, with China, Japan and India the most notable abstainers.