What is UTC or GMT Time?
Weather observations around the world (including surface, radar, and other observations) are always taken with respect to a standard time. By convention, the world's weather communities use a twenty four hour clock, similar to "military" time based on the 0° longitude meridian, also known as the Greenwich meridian.
Prior to 1972, this time was called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) but is now referred to as Coordinated Universal Time or Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). It is a coordinated time scale, maintained by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). It is also known as "Z time" or "Zulu Time".
To obtain your local time here in the United States, you need to subtract a certain number of hours from UTC depending on how many time zones you are away from Greenwich (England). The table below shows the standard difference from UTC time to local time.
The switch to daylight saving time does not affect UTC. It refers to time on the zero or Greenwich meridian, which is not adjusted to reflect changes either to or from Daylight Saving Time.
However, you need to know what happens during daylight saving time in the United States. In short, the local time is advanced one hour during daylight saving time. As an example, the Eastern Time zone difference from UTC is -4 hours during daylight saving time rather than -5 hours as it is during standard time.
|Standard Time||Daylight Saving|
|AST - Atlantic, AK - Alaska time, HI - Hawaii time, *The previous day, %The next day|
Note: Credit given to NWS Southern Region Headquarters for the information above.