As the second largest city in the state of Oklahoma with a population rapidly approaching one million, Tulsa serves as a hub for arts & culture, energy and aerospace industries across the Great Plains. However as you plan business or travel across the diverse metro area, one logistics factor comes into play – what is the local time zone?
Unlike other major U.S. cities that span multiple time zones, Tulsa and the surrounding Green Country region fall fully under the Central Time Zone. This means clocks follow Central Standard Time (CST) in coordination with cities like Chicago, Dallas and Minneapolis.
In this guide we’ll briefly revisit how North American time zones came to be before exploring Tulsa’s Central Time status – including how daylight saving time shifts work locally. Let’s uncover how to reliably track the accurate Tulsa time!
Table of Contents
The Origins of Time Zones in North America
Before examining Tulsa’s current time zone, let’s rewind and see how standardized regions of time first evolved across the United States and Canada:
1883 – Prior to this date, all time was reckoned based on local solar position. With the advent of railways spanning vast distances, the need emerged to synchronize schedules. As a result the country was divided into four time zones centered around principal meridians.
1918 – Daylight saving time is first adopted shifting clocks ahead one hour from March until November to conserve energy and extend evening daylight hours. The practice continues on and off to modern day.
1966 – The Uniform Time Act finalizes consistent dates and times for daylight saving time changes between states to avoid disjointed work and transport between neighboring regions.
This brings us to today’s scheme dividing the continental U.S. between Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones – within which the city of Tulsa is aligned…
How Tulsa Aligned to the Central Time Zone
When North American time zones were mapped out, Oklahoma fell squarely under Central Time spanning from the Great Lakes through Texas based on its longitude position:
As a result Tulsa inherited the Central Time Zone identity along with the rest of Oklahoma, keeping clocks in sync with cities like Kansas City, Memphis and New Orleans among others.
And over the last century with connected economies and transport networks between regions, having consistent time zones between cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Dallas provides huge efficiencies no longer requiring constant time adjustments.
Next we’ll explore exactly what Central Standard and Daylight times translate to on an annual basis for Tulsa…
When Tulsa Shifts Between CST & CDT Annually
As mentioned previously, since adoption of daylight saving time practices back in 1918, Tulsa shifts its clocks forward one hour each March through November to conserve energy.
Central Standard Time covers late autumn and winter from the first Sunday of November until mid-March when clocks read:
- 6 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
- 1 hour behind the prime meridian centered in London
- 2 hours ahead of Pacific Time Zone locations like Los Angeles
Then Central Daylight Time lasts while days grow longer through spring and summer from the second Sunday of March until the first weekend of November when clocks shift ahead an hour to read:
- Just 5 hours behind UTC
- Aligned with London’s BST hours
- 3 hours ahead of the U.S. West Coast
So residents can rely on adding an extra 60 minutes between March and November for accurate meeting times or travel connections passing through Tulsa over these months annually.
Next we’ll look at some frequently asked questions surrounding Tulsa time zones and daylight saving dates…
FAQs on Tulsa, Oklahoma Time Zones & Daylight Saving
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions around timekeeping in the Tulsa metro area:
Does Tulsa ever shift between Central and Mountain Time Zones?
No, as set in the 1960s Uniform Time Act, all of Oklahoma lies fully under the Central Time Zone year-round without seasonal changes.
What weeks change between standard and daylight time in Tulsa?
The second Sunday each March shifts clocks ahead one hour until reverting the first Sunday every November – for 234 total days of Central Daylight Time.
Do parts of Oklahoma not observe daylight saving?
A few counties in the Oklahoma panhandle area closer to New Mexico remain exempt from the one-hour time shift seen in Tulsa and stick solely to standard time.
Why don’t Arizona and Hawaii ever shift daylight time?
Lying outside the continental U.S. latitudes, both states initially exempted daylight time before opting to remain permanently on standard time for simplicity as transport hubs.
Where can I double check the exact dates for the next daylight saving changes in Tulsa?
Most online calendars or time reference sites will showcase the precise Sundays for the spring forward and fall backward clock shifts between CST/CDT annually.
So in summary – Tulsa falls under consistent Central Time Zone hours year-round despite daylight periodicity. Just remember to plan 60 minutes ahead when scheduling regional meetings or flights between March and November!