Tennessee Time Zone: A Must-Read for Visitors and Residents

Navigating with the Tennessee time zone can be confusing, especially as it’s one of the few states that operates under two separate times! Did you know, for instance, that Nashville runs on Central Time while Knoxville observes Eastern Time? This post is your ultimate guide to better understanding this quirky setup.

Please stick with us; we promise no more accidentally arriving an hour early or late for appointments in Tennessee!

Content Highlights

  • Tennessee is divided into two time zones: Central Time Zone and Eastern Time Zone. Nashville is in the Central Time Zone, while the rest of the state, including Knoxville, is in the Eastern Time Zone.
  • The time difference between Tennessee’s Central and Eastern Time Zones is one hour. When it’s noon in Nashville, it will be 1 p.m. in Knoxville.
  • Tennessee observes Daylight Saving Time, where clocks are moved forward by one hour during the spring and back by one hour during the fall. However, there have been recent updates regarding permanent daylight saving time that still need approval from Congress.

Tennessee’s Time Zone Split

Tennessee Time Zone

Tennessee’s Time Zone Split divides the state into two different time zones, with Nashville located in the Central Time Zone and the rest of the state in the Eastern Time Zone.

Nashville in Central Time

Nashville sits in the Central Time Zone. This famous city is known for its thriving music scene. The time zone it lies in is not chosen by chance, but due to its position on the globe.

This means when it’s noon here, it might be 1 pm if you’re east in Knoxville. Nashville loves living life an hour behind some of its Tennessee neighbors!

Rest of the state in Eastern Time

Parts of Tennessee use Eastern Time. This area includes cities like Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Johnson City. The time zone line runs along the edge of Middle Tennessee. This means that as you move east from Nashville, you will have to set your clock ahead by one hour.

In some parts eastern Tennessee areas near Bristol, they also follow the Eastern Time Zone. So, if you are in these places or moving towards them from central Tennessee, be ready to adjust your clocks forward by an hour.

Reason for the time zone difference

Tennessee has two time zones due to where it lies on the map. The state sits within the Eastern and Central Time Zones in the United States. This means that as you move from one side of Tennessee to the other, time changes.

History also plays a role in this difference. A long time ago, people decided to split up time based on where the sun is in the sky. They drew lines across places like Tennessee for these splits.

So, part of Tennessee has one time, and another part has a different time.

Tennessee Time Zone Map

Tennessee Time Zone

The time zone map of Tennessee shows the current local time in the state, including information about Daylight Saving Time and the Central Time Zone (CT) and Eastern Time Zone (ET).

Read Also The Dallas Time Zone: A Must-Know for Travelers

Current local time in Tennessee

Tennessee’s current local time is in the Central Time Zone, which is UTC -5. This means that cities like Memphis and Nashville follow this time zone. However, Knoxville is an exception as it falls under the Eastern Time Zone, which is UTC -4.

It’s important to keep these time differences in mind when planning trips or scheduling calls with people in different parts of Tennessee. Also, remember that Tennessee observes daylight saving time, so there may be additional changes to the local time throughout the year.

Daylight Saving Time

Tennessee, like many states in the United States, observes Daylight Saving Time. This means that the clocks are moved forward by one hour during the spring and then moved back by one hour during the fall.

The purpose of Daylight Saving Time is to make better use of daylight and save energy. It allows for longer evenings with more natural light, which can be beneficial for activities such as outdoor recreation and conserving electricity.

Tennessee residents should remember to set their clocks accordingly when Daylight Saving Time begins or ends.

Central Time Zone (CT)

The Central Time Zone (CT) is one of the two time zones in Tennessee. The cities in this time zone include Nashville and its surrounding areas. It is important to note that not all parts of the state are on Central Time.

The rest of Tennessee, including cities like Knoxville and Chattanooga, follows Eastern Time. So if you’re planning to visit different parts of the state, keep in mind the time difference between these two zones.

Eastern Time Zone (ET)

The Eastern Time Zone (ET) includes part of Tennessee. This means that several cities in East Tennessee, including Knoxville, are on Eastern Standard Time. The boundary line between the Central and Eastern time zones follows the eastern borders of certain counties in Tennessee.

In total, there are 23 states and parts of Canada that fall within the Eastern Time Zone. Keep this in mind when scheduling phone calls or traveling to other states with different time zones.

Tennessee I-40 Time Zone Crossing

The location of the time zone change on Interstate 40 and how to navigate going from Eastern to Central Time or vice versa.

Location of the time zone change on Interstate 40

The time zone change on Interstate 40 in Tennessee happens at the border of Cumberland County. This means that if you’re driving west on Interstate 40, you will go from Eastern Time to Central Time once you reach Cumberland County.

On the other hand, if you’re heading east on Interstate 40, you will go from Central Time to Eastern Time when you cross over into Cumberland County. It’s important to be aware of this change so that you can adjust your clocks and plans accordingly while traveling along this highway.

Going from Eastern to Central Time

To travel from the Eastern Time Zone to the Central Time Zone in Tennessee:

  1. Cross the boundary line between the two time zones.
  2. Adjust your clocks back by one hour, as Central Time is one hour behind Eastern Time.
  3. Note that most of Tennessee, including cities like Nashville and Knoxville, is in the Central Time Zone.
  4. Be aware that Interstate 40 runs through the state and crosses over from the Eastern to Central Time Zone at a specific location.

Going from Central to Eastern Time

To switch from Central to Eastern Time in Tennessee, follow these steps:

  1. Cross the Tennessee state border into Cumberland County.
  2. As you enter Cumberland County, you will enter the Eastern Time Zone.
  3. Adjust your clocks and watches to reflect the new Eastern Time Zone.
  4. Keep in mind that cities like Knoxville, Maryville, and Chattanooga are also on Eastern Time, so if you’re traveling to these places from Central Time, you won’t need to adjust your clocks again.

Read More: Stay Ahead with our Latest Guide to UTC Time Zone

Latest Time Zone Updates

Tennessee recently made changes to its daylight saving time schedule, causing confusion for residents. Some counties are now observing daylight saving time while others are not.

Time zone news in Tennessee

There have been recent time zone updates in Tennessee. Over 30 cities in East Tennessee, including Knoxville and Chattanooga, have had their time zone changed to Eastern Standard Time.

This means that these cities are now one hour ahead of the rest of the state, which is still in the Central time zone. It’s important to stay updated on these changes to avoid any confusion with scheduling or travel plans.

Changes in daylight saving time

Tennessee is making changes to daylight saving time. Governor Brad Little recently announced that the state will have permanent daylight saving time throughout the year. This means that Tennessee residents will no longer need to change their clocks twice a year.

Instead, they will stay on the same time all year round, following Pacific Standard Time. However, it’s important to note that this decision still needs approval from Congress. Efforts are being made to eliminate clock changes altogether and make this new system permanent in Tennessee.

Impact on Travel and Communication


Traveling to different parts of Tennessee can be challenging due to the time zone split. It is important to consider these time differences when scheduling phone calls or coordinating plans with individuals in other states.

Additionally, understanding the time zone changes and how they affect travel within Tennessee is crucial for a smooth journey.

Scheduling phone calls between Tennessee and other states

When scheduling phone calls between Tennessee and other states, it’s important to consider the time zone differences. Keep in mind that while Nashville is in the Central Time Zone, the rest of the state is in the Eastern Time Zone.

This means that if you’re calling someone in another state, you’ll need to be aware of whether they are on Central or Eastern time. It may also be helpful to use a world clock or online converter to ensure that you schedule your call at a convenient time for both parties.

Remember to factor in any changes due to daylight saving time as well, as this can affect the time difference between states.

Time zone differences with New York

The time zone in New York is Eastern Time, which is one hour ahead of the Central Time Zone where most of Tennessee, including Nashville, is located. This means that when it’s 12:00 PM in New York, it’s only 11:00 AM in Nashville and other parts of Tennessee.

It’s important to keep this time difference in mind when scheduling phone calls or meetings between these two states. Also, it’s worth noting that both New York and Tennessee observe daylight saving time, so there may be an additional hour difference during certain parts of the year.

Navigating time zone changes while traveling

Traveling to different time zones can be confusing, but there are strategies to help make it easier. When you’re crossing time zones, it’s important to adjust your schedule gradually before you travel.

This means gradually shifting your sleep and meal times closer to the new time zone. Additionally, staying hydrated and avoiding caffeine and alcohol can also help reduce jet lag symptoms.

Remember that exposure to natural light can help reset your internal body clock, so try to spend some time outside during daylight hours. By following these tips, you’ll be able to navigate time zone changes while traveling with greater ease and minimize the effects of jet lag.

Read Also: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Navigating What Time is it in Texas

Important Time Zone Information

The time zone abbreviations in Tennessee are CT for Central Time and ET for Eastern Time, with a UTC-GMT offset of -6 hours and -5 hours respectively.

Time zone abbreviations

The time zone abbreviations used in Tennessee are CST for Central Standard Time and CDT for Central Daylight Time. These abbreviations help us know the difference between standard time and daylight saving time.

The majority of Tennessee follows the Central Time Zone, so cities like Nashville and Memphis use the abbreviation CST. However, some cities in East Tennessee, like Knoxville and Chattanooga, have a different time zone called Eastern Standard Time, which is abbreviated as EST.

It’s important to know these abbreviations when scheduling appointments or making travel plans across different time zones.

UTC-GMT offset

Tennessee’s UTC-GMT offset is -5 hours. This means that Tennessee is 5 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During Daylight Saving Time, the offset remains the same.

So, if it is 12:00 PM in UTC/GMT, it would be 7:00 AM in Tennessee. The Central Time Zone in Tennessee follows this offset as well. It’s important to keep this time difference in mind when scheduling phone calls or traveling between different time zones.

Additional Resources and Time Zone Map

  • Official website of the Tennessee Department of Transportation for updates on time zone changes and road conditions.
  • Timeanddate.com offers an interactive time zone map of Tennessee, allowing you to check the current local time in different cities.
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) website provides accurate information on time zones in the United States.
  • The World Clock app or website can help you keep track of multiple time zones, including Tennessee’s.
  • Phone apps such as Time Buddy and Time Zone Converter can assist with scheduling calls across different time zones.
  • The Tennessee State Library and Archives may have historical records related to time zone changes in the state.
  • The U.S. Naval Observatory’s website offers a tool to calculate the UTC – GMT offset for any location, including Tennessee.
  • Local news websites and radio stations often provide updates on any recent changes or news regarding time zones in Tennessee.
  • Travel guidebooks, such as Lonely Planet or Fodor’s, usually include information on dealing with time zone differences while traveling.
  • Social media groups and forums dedicated to travel or living in Tennessee can provide insights from locals about navigating the state’s two time zones.

Also Read: Mastering GMT Time Zone

Tennessee Time Zone: Important Facts

Here are some important facts about the time zone in Tennessee.

  • Tennessee is split between the Eastern Time Zone (ET) and the Central Time Zone (CT). The dividing line runs roughly along the 86th meridian west.
  • The easternmost part of Tennessee, including the cities of Knoxville, Chattanooga, and the Tri-Cities, is in ET.
  • The westernmost part of Tennessee, including the cities of Nashville and Memphis, is in CT.
  • Tennessee observes daylight saving time (DST), which means that the clocks are moved forward one hour in the spring and back one hour in the fall.
  • During DST, Tennessee is in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and is four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
  • Outside of DST, Tennessee is in Eastern Standard Time (EST) and is five hours behind UTC.
  • The time zone lines are not always straight lines. They can be curved or zigzagged to avoid splitting up cities or towns.
  • Some countries, such as China, have a single time zone for the entire country, even though it spans multiple time zones.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you want to know more about Tennessee time zone, check the answers below.

1. What time zone is Tennessee in?

Tennessee is located in the Central Time Zone.

2. Does Tennessee observe Daylight Saving Time?

Yes, Tennessee observes Daylight Saving Time. The clocks are set forward by one hour in the spring and set back by one hour in the fall.

3. Are there any recent updates regarding Tennessee’s time zone?

As of now, there are no recent updates or changes to Tennessee’s time zone. It still follows the Central Time Zone.

4. How does being in the Central Time Zone affect daily life in Tennessee?

Being in the Central Time Zone means that people living in Tennessee have their clocks set to match central standard time, which can impact things like work schedules, transportation timings, and coordination with other states or regions within different time zones.

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