PST for Beginners: What is Pacific Standard Time and How Does It Work?

Pacific Standard Time

Maybe you’ve been planning a trip to the U.S. or chatting with friends in another city. Or perhaps you’re eagerly awaiting the release of a digital product or software that’s coming out overseas. In these scenarios, you’ve likely encountered Pacific Standard Time (PST).

So, what exactly is PST, and how does it differ from other time zones?

What is PST?

Pacific Standard Time (PST) is a time zone used during the winter months in regions such as most of the western United States, parts of Mexico, and Canada.

To be precise, PST is used in states and provinces like California, Washington, Oregon, northern Idaho, and Nevada in the U.S.; and in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Yukon. In Mexico, PST is used in the state of Baja California.

PST is 8 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-8).

This means that when it’s noon in London (12:00 UTC), it’s only 4:00 AM in Los Angeles or Vancouver.

How Does PST Work?

Time zones, including PST, are designed to align local time with daylight hours. This means that noon falls in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. PST runs from early November to mid-March. During the rest of the year, Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) is used, shifting the clock one hour forward to UTC-7 to make better use of daylight.

Time Zones in North America

As we know, time zones play a crucial role in organizing and coordinating human activities worldwide according to geographical regions.

In North America, for example, there are several major time zones, including Eastern Standard Time (EST), Central Standard Time (CST), Mountain Standard Time (MST), and Pacific Standard Time (PST).

How PST Affects Your Daily Life

If you live in a region where PST is used, your schedule is likely aligned with this time zone. Your workday starts and ends in PST, your TV shows air in PST, and even your online meetings and calls may be scheduled according to PST.

For those living in other time zones, understanding PST is essential for planning communications and coordinating with people on the West Coast of North America. For instance, if you’re in New York (EST), which is three hours ahead of PST, your 9:00 AM business call will be at 6:00 AM in Los Angeles.

Converting PST to Other Time Zones

Let’s say you want to participate in a promotion or event for a tech product happening overseas in a PST time zone. It’s crucial to know how to convert your local time in PST accurately.

The time difference between PST and, say, Tokyo (JST) is about +17 hours. So, if it’s 7:25 AM JST on January 20th in Tokyo, it will be 2:25 PM PST on January 19th in a PST region.

How to Convert Time to PST Online

There are plenty of online services available that allow you to convert PST to other time zones in real time. Just type “PST to London” or any other time zone into Google, and you’ll find numerous websites offering this service.

One of the most convenient services is the PST Time Zone converter from PSTNET. This tool automatically shows the current PST time and its conversion to your local time, detecting your location via your device’s IP address.


Pacific Standard Time is an integral part of daily life for millions of people on the West Coast of North America. Understanding how PST works and its role in time coordination helps us navigate our globalized world more effectively.

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