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PST vs. MST: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 6, 2023
PST (Pacific Standard Time) is the time zone used on the west coast of the USA, while MST (Mountain Standard Time) is used in the mountainous regions, one hour ahead of PST.

Key Differences

PST is the standard time zone for the Pacific region of the United States and parts of Canada. MST, however, is the time zone for regions in the Mountain range area of the United States and Canada.
PST is generally 8 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-8). While, MST is 7 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-7), making it one hour ahead of PST.
During Daylight Saving Time, PST becomes Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), moving an hour forward. Whereas, MST shifts to Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) in this period, also advancing by one hour.
PST covers states like California and Washington in the U.S. MST includes states such as Arizona and Colorado.
Both PST and MST are crucial for coordinating activities like flights and broadcasts across different regions and internationally.

Comparison Chart

UTC Offset

UTC-8 (Standard Time)
UTC-7 (Standard Time)

Daylight Saving Time

Shifts to PDT (UTC-7)
Shifts to MDT (UTC-6)

Geographic Location

West coast of the USA and parts of Canada
Mountain regions of the USA and Canada

Time Difference

1 hour behind MST
1 hour ahead of PST

Affected States

Includes California, Washington
Includes Arizona, Colorado

PST and MST Definitions


PST is 8 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time.
When it's 12 PM in UTC, it's 4 AM in PST.


MST stands for Mountain Standard Time, a time zone in the mountainous regions of the USA.
The conference in Denver will start at 10 AM MST.


PST stands for Pacific Standard Time, a time zone in the western United States.
The meeting was scheduled for 3 PM PST.


MST is 7 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time.
5 PM in UTC is 10 AM in MST.


PST does not apply during Daylight Saving Time.
California switches from PST to PDT in the summer.


MST impacts television and radio broadcast times in its region.
The game will be broadcast at 7 PM MST.


PST is observed during the winter months in its region.
We switch back to PST in November.


MST is used during the winter in its time zone.
We're currently on MST, but will switch to MDT in the spring.


PST is used in broadcast scheduling on the west coast.
The show airs at 8 PM PST on local networks.


MST is not used during Daylight Saving Time in regions that observe it.
Parts of Arizona remain on MST all year.


Alternative form of psst


Mountain Standard Time, the time of the 105th meridian, used in the mountain states of the U.S.


Standard time in the 8th time zone west of Greenwich, reckoned at the 120th meridian west; used in far western states of the United States


Standard time in the 7th time zone west of Greenwich, reckoned at the 105th meridian west; used in the mountain states of the United States


What is the main difference between PST and MST?

PST is one hour behind MST and is used in the Pacific coastal region, while MST is used in the mountain regions.

Do PST and MST always have a one-hour difference?

Yes, except for regions in MST that don't observe Daylight Saving Time.

Which states are in the MST zone?

States like Arizona, Colorado, and parts of New Mexico are in the MST zone.

Do all regions in MST observe Daylight Saving Time?

No, for example, most of Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Which states in the USA use PST?

States like California and Washington use PST.

Are PST and MST used outside the USA?

Yes, parts of Canada and Mexico also use these time zones.

Is it currently the same time in both PST and MST zones?

No, there's always a one-hour difference unless affected by Daylight Saving Time.

How does MST differ during Daylight Saving Time?

MST shifts to Mountain Daylight Time (MDT), advancing by one hour.

When do regions in PST switch to PDT?

They typically switch to PDT in March and return to PST in November.

Are business hours different in PST compared to MST?

Business hours may be similar, but the time difference should be considered for scheduling.

How do TV broadcasts work across PST and MST?

Broadcast times are often adjusted to suit each time zone.

Does the time difference impact online meetings between PST and MST?

Yes, participants need to be aware of the time zone differences.

Do flights get affected by the difference in PST and MST?

Flight schedules account for the time difference between these zones.

Are public holidays the same in PST and MST regions?

Most public holidays are the same, but local observances may differ.

Is scheduling sports events challenging between PST and MST?

Yes, it requires coordination to accommodate viewers in both time zones.

Does the one-hour difference affect banking transactions between PST and MST?

It might affect the timing of transactions across these zones.

Are there any cultural differences between PST and MST regions?

While time zones don't dictate culture, regional differences can exist.

Do international calls between PST and MST need scheduling consideration?

Yes, the one-hour time difference should be considered.

How does the one-hour difference affect travel between PST and MST?

Travelers must adjust their watches when moving between these time zones.

How do daylight hours compare in PST and MST?

Daylight hours may slightly vary, especially during the equinoxes.
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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