Daylight Saving Time Begins: Is Seattle Participating This Fall?

Seattle skyline at dusk with time-lapse of cars moving on the roads.
Stay up late Saturday night to track exactly when Daylight Saving Time starts. | Photo via Pexels

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour this weekend. Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 a.m. Sunday, meaning the sun will start setting super early at our high latitude. There’s a reason locals call the gloomy months ahead The Big Dark.  

“But hold up,” you might be saying. “Didn’t Washington opt out of all that ‘spring forward, fall back’ rigamarole recently?” And you’d be right.

In 2019, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law that would enact “permanent” Daylight Saving Time, meaning there would be no need to adjust twice a year. But in order for such a rule to go into effect, the federal government would have to approve it through a Congressional act, and so far that hasn’t happened

There is some hope that it will move forward soon, though. Senator Patty Murray says there are multiple options to put the state law in motion: passing the stalled Sunshine Protection Act, a federal waiver from Congress, or an executive order from President Joe Biden.

Proponents of the permanent change believe having more light in the late afternoon and evening would be safer overall, since more people are moving and commuting at that time. During Seattle’s shortest winter day, the sun sets at 4:20 p.m. — but if we were to switch to perpetual Daylight Saving, the sun would set no earlier than 5:20 p.m. 🌄

For now, the Big Dark is here to stay. In the meantime, let’s all enjoy that extra hour of sleep. You can even celebrate the gift of time by checking out some of these appropriately named activities in Seattle.