When is daylight saving time 2024? Millions have sunsets after 6 pm as time change approaches

Do you feel it in the air? Spring is coming, and the start of longer daylight hours is well underway.

And with daylight saving time starting in March, most Americans will soon have even more hours in the sun. Even ahead of of the time change, there are already cities in every continental U.S. time zone that are reporting sunset times after 6 p.m. as the Earth and the Northern Hemisphere begins its tilt toward the sun.

The time adjustment affects the daily lives of hundreds of millions of Americans, prompting clock changes, contributing to less sleep in the days following and, of course, later sunsets.

Here's what to know about the start of daylight saving time in 2024.

When is daylight saving time in 2024?

Daylight saving time will begin for 2024 on Sunday, March 10 at 2 a.m. local time, when our clocks will go ahead one hour, part of the twice-annual time change that affects millions, but not all, Americans.

Have the days been getting longer?

The winter solstice, which occurs annually on Dec. 21, is the day with the shortest daylight hours each year. Since then, the days have been gradually getting longer.

Because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, cities that are located eastward experience sunrise before more more westward cities.

Ahead of daylight saving time, which starts this month, some areas are already experiencing later sunset times. On the East Coast, parts of states like Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Connecticut are already recording sunsets after 5:30 p.m. ET, according to TimeandDate.com.

Sunset times get later as you move westward though time zones, and cities on the western edge of Eastern Standard Time like Detroit and Indianapolis have sunsets around 6:30 p.m. ET.

The same concept plays out in each of the continental United States' four time zones, with cities on the easternmost edge of each time zone recording sunset times roughly between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. local time.

Daylight saving time begins for 2024 on Sunday, March 10 at 2 a.m. local time.
Daylight saving time begins for 2024 on Sunday, March 10 at 2 a.m. local time.

What is daylight saving time?

Daylight saving time is the time between March and November when most Americans adjust their clocks by one hour.

We lose an hour in March (as opposed to gaining an hour in the fall) to accommodate for more daylight in the summer evenings. When we "fall back" in November, it's to add more daylight in the mornings.

When is the spring equinox?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the vernal, or spring equinox is March 19, marking the start of the spring season.

When does daylight saving time end in 2024?

In 2024, daylight saving time will end for the year at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday, Nov. 3. It will pick up again next year on Sunday, March 9, 2025.

Is daylight saving time ending permanently?

The push to stop changing clocks was put before Congress in the last couple of years, when the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Sunshine Protection Act in 2022, a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent. However, it did not pass in the U.S. House of Representatives and, therefore, was not signed into law by President Joe Biden.

2023 version of the act remained idle in Congress as well.

Does every state observe daylight saving time?

Not all states and U.S. territories participate in daylight saving time.

Hawaii and Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) do not observe daylight saving time, and neither do the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Because of its desert climate, Arizona doesn't follow daylight saving time. After most of the U.S. adopted the Uniform Time Act, the state figured that there wasn't a good reason to adjust clocks to make sunset occur an hour later during the hottest months of the year.

The Navajo Nation, which spans Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, does follow daylight saving time.

Hawaii is the other state that does not observe daylight saving time. Because of its proximity to the equator, there is not a lot of variance between hours of daylight during the year.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Daylight saving time 2024: Time change details; when to 'spring ahead'