2000 Travel News ArchiveTravel

Getting up an hour earlier

This Monday morning was especially hard on all in the DR. Everyone had to get up an hour earlier. At 2 am on Sunday, 3 December clocks had been set ahead to remedy what a general consensus felt had been a mistake, the equating of the time in the DR with the eastern coast of the USA or implementing Daylight Saving Time. The Dominican Republic is now again on Atlantic Standard Time (AST). The Dominican Republic is -4h or 4 hours West of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) which means that it is 4 hours behind of the time in the Village of Greenwich, England which was selected as the location of the Prime Meridian or 0 Degrees. DR1 reader, Sang Wong helped us with the explanation of why it isn’t logical that the time in the DR be the same as that of the US year round: With Daylight Saving Time the Dominican Republic had been placed at -5h or 5 hours West of Greenwich i.e. the same as Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the US. On the 3rd of December 2000, when the Dominican Republic moved its clocks one hour ahead, it abandoned EST and returned to Atlantic Standard Time (AST), again becoming exactly four hours ahead of GMT. The Tropical Latitudes are defined in relation to the angle at which the earth’s axis is tilted to the plane of the ecliptic i.e. 23.5° – this means that the Tropics is that band around the earth, parallel to the equator, that lies between 23.5° North and South of the Equator. The length of day and night at the Equator remains the same throughout the year. The greatest variation in the length of day and night, throughout the year, is at the North and South poles where day or night can last for up to 6 months. Most of the continental US lies in latitudes where the annual variations in the length of day and night are large enough to justify the implementation of Daylight Saving Time. Since the northern most point of the Dominican Republic is near Cabo Isabela (19° 55′ N) and the southern most point is at the southern tip of Isla Beata (17° 33′ N) the Dominican Republic is squarely within Tropical latitudes. There is some variation in the length of day and night between these latitudes throughout the year but it is rather minimal and does not justify the implementation of Daylight Saving Time. (4 December 2000)