Weather and Standard Time

It’s that time of the year again where we are just days away from “falling back”/returning to Standard Time. For many of us, it’s just a way of living. We “spring ahead” in the spring time and set the clocks back in the fall. But, why is that? Believe it or comes down to 2 things, trains…and…THE WEATHER!

Before 1883, the time was set by locals, which means that the time was very inconsistent. For trains, it lead to many schedule conflicts as the time was different from one region to the next. For weather observers, it was even more challenging. Weather observations would be made but the times that were logged were “all over the place” since they were coordinated to be taken by ‘solar time”. So, it was determined that something needed to be done. The railroads caught on quickly.. After the idea of standard time and time zones was proposed, it didn’t take long for the states to follow the railroads in 1883.

Could you imagine how confusing it would be now if every time we read a tornado warning on air and had to learn every towns actual time on when the warning would begin and expire? Yikes!


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