Difference Wiki

CDT vs. PDT: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 12, 2023
CDT (Central Daylight Time) is the daylight saving time in the Central Time Zone of the USA, UTC-5. PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) is the daylight saving time in the Pacific Time Zone, UTC-7.

Key Differences

CDT is observed in the Central Time Zone in parts of the USA, Canada, and Mexico. PDT is used in the Pacific Time Zone, covering states like California and Washington.
Both CDT and PDT are daylight saving times, with CDT being UTC-5 and PDT being UTC-7. They are used in the summer months to make better use of daylight.
CDT is mainly observed in central parts of the USA, including cities like Chicago and Dallas. PDT is observed in the western part of the USA, including cities like Los Angeles and Seattle.
The switch to CDT occurs in March, moving clocks forward one hour. PDT also begins in March, aligning with the start of daylight saving time.
During winter, CDT regions switch to CST (Central Standard Time), and PDT regions switch to PST (Pacific Standard Time).

Comparison Chart

Time Offset


Observed In

Central Time Zone
Pacific Time Zone

Key Regions

Central USA, parts of Canada, Mexico
Western USA, parts of Canada

Transition Month

March (to Daylight Saving Time)
March (to Daylight Saving Time)

Winter Time

Central Standard Time (CST)
Pacific Standard Time (PST)

CDT and PDT Definitions


Time when clocks are moved forward in spring.
We lose an hour of sleep when we switch to CDT.


Pacific Daylight Time in the Pacific Time Zone.
Seattle is on PDT during the daylight saving period.


Central Daylight Time in the Central Time Zone.
Dallas operates on CDT during the summer months.


A daylight saving time standard in the western United States.
Broadcasts from California are often in PDT.


The summer time zone for central parts of North America.
Flights to Chicago are listed in CDT during the summer.


The daylight saving time in the Pacific Time Zone, UTC-7.
The webinar starts at 8 PM PDT.


The daylight saving time in the Central Time Zone, UTC-5.
The meeting is scheduled for 10 AM CDT.


The summer time zone for the western part of North America.
Los Angeles switches to PDT in the summer.


A standard time in the United States during summer.
TV shows in the Central region air according to CDT.


Occurs when clocks move forward in spring in the Pacific region.
Switching to PDT means longer evenings.


What does CDT stand for?

CDT stands for Central Daylight Time.

When is PDT observed?

PDT is observed from March to November during daylight saving time.

When do areas switch to CDT?

Areas switch to CDT in March during the start of daylight saving time.

Is CDT ahead of or behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)?

CDT is behind UTC by 5 hours (UTC-5).

What is the meaning of PDT?

PDT means Pacific Daylight Time.

Which states observe PDT?

States like California, Oregon, and Washington observe PDT.

How does PDT differ from UTC?

PDT is 7 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-7).

Is CDT the same as CST?

No, CDT is daylight saving time, while CST is standard time in winter.

What are the major cities observing CDT?

Major cities include Chicago, Dallas, and Houston.

How does daylight saving time affect CDT?

CDT starts with daylight saving time, moving clocks forward one hour.

Do all U.S. states use CDT?

No, only specific Central Time Zone states and regions use CDT.

What's the purpose of PDT?

PDT aims to make better use of daylight during the summer months.

Are there exceptions to CDT in its zone?

Some regions in the Central Time Zone may not observe CDT.

What time zone follows PDT in winter?

Pacific Standard Time (PST) follows PDT in winter.

Is PDT used outside the USA?

Parts of Canada and Mexico also observe PDT.

How does CDT impact daily activities?

CDT affects schedules, especially for cross-time zone communications.

Can international travelers be affected by CDT?

Yes, travelers should adjust their schedules according to CDT when visiting.

Is technology automatically updated for PDT?

Most modern devices automatically adjust for daylight saving time changes like PDT.

Are there any health concerns with PDT?

The time change can affect sleep patterns and circadian rhythms.

How do broadcast times work with PDT?

Broadcasts in PDT zones adjust to reflect the local time during daylight saving.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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