DISCUSSION: Just like we here in the United States celebrate Daylight Saving Time (DST) during the second Sunday in the month of March, Europe also has its own version of the time change which is known as Summer Time and occurs on the last Sunday in March. In the early hours on March 12, 2017 the clocks “jumped” an hour forward to ring in Daylight Saving Time across the majority of the United States (parts of Arizona and the state of Hawaii do not participate). The same thing occurred throughout Europe earlier this morning Sunday March 26, 2017 as well (the exceptions being Russia and Belarus). Moving the clocks ahead one-hour was originally started back during World War I in the United States to help conserve energy as the Sun now set an hour later allowing Americans to turn on their lights later in the evening. During World War II the United States enacted year-round DST to help conserve even more energy during the war. Places in Europe applied “Double Summer Time” which set the clocks two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GWT) during the summer and one hour ahead in the winter. Extended DST was also put into place during the oil embargo of 1973.
As of 2007 the United States observes DST on the second Sunday in the month of March and ends on the first Sunday in November. In Europe, since 1996, DST begins on the last Sunday of March and lasts until the last Sunday of October. Roughly one billion people go through the time change every year across the world, the week following the time change leads to a greater risk of heart attacks and car accidents due to the change in sleep patterns. Stay safe out there our European friends!
To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across Europe, be sure to click here!
~ Meteorologist Jake Keiser