January 2024 was a wild month in Boise. Thanks to a mid-month blizzard and arctic blast, it became one of the snowiest Januarys on record. By the end of the month? We saw record high temperatures for three consecutive days, including setting a new record for the warmest temperature ever recorded in January. The new record is 66 degrees. 

While we can almost assure you that this was a “fool’s spring” and that winter isn’t quite over yet, the one thing that won’t change? Later sunsets. Right now, Boise’s sunsets are happening around 5:56 p.m. We’re grateful for the few extra minutes of sunshine and soon, we’ll get a lot more of them. We’re a little over a month away from the twice-a-year ritual of turning our clocks ahead an hour. 

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Right now, only Hawaii and Arizona get to skip the time-hopping tradition, but that could change sometime in our lifetime. In March 2022, the United States Senate approved a stop to changing the clocks but the measure hasn’t passed the House.

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There was a push to exempt Idaho from the time change presented in the Idaho House of Representatives in 2019 and 2020. It failed in 2019. In 2020, the legislature approved making daylight saving time permanent in the part of the state that’s in the Pacific Time Zone if the state of Washington decided to make it permanent, too. 

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There’s some interesting legislation passing through the state house in Washington state. They’re considering making Pacific Standard Time permanent, because doing so wouldn’t require federal action. That means sunsets would move from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer. However, if the federal government DOES allow states to adopt permanent Daylight Saving Time, they would choose to do that. Washington’s lawmakers hope that Northern Idaho and Oregon would do the same.

What Would Permanent Daylight Saving Time Look Like in the Boise Area?

If you’re someone who despises driving to work in the dark AND home from work in the dark, during Standard Time you’d probably be a fan of permanent Daylight Saving. If things stay the way they are, sunset can be as early as 5:09 p.m. during Standard Time. Under permanent Daylight Saving Time, the sun wouldn’t set any earlier than 6:09 p.m. in early December.

Now, there’s a trade-off. The way things are right now, the latest sunrise in the Boise area is around 8:18 a.m. If we moved to permanent Daylight Saving Time, that means sunrise wouldn’t happen until 9:18 a.m. on some days in January. 

Supporters of “saving standard time” say that permanent Daylight Saving Time would force millions of Americans to start work before sunrise, but 54.1% of Boise residents already start their morning commute to work before 8 a.m. Only 19.7% of residents say they start their commute between 8-9 a.m. 

It would be more of a concern when it comes to students being out in the dark. If you look at the bell schedules for Boise, West Ada, Nampa and Caldwell schools, the average school start time is 8:16. If Daylight Saving Time was made permanent, kids would be starting school before sunrise from late October-mid March. The way things are right now, sunrise only happens before 8:16 a.m. for a handful of days in late October/early November and after Winter Break-mid January.  

Of course, these details only apply to the Boise area. Sunrise/sunset/commute times/school start times vary from place to place in the state. You can check out a calculator to figure out what these scenarios look like in your part of the state by clicking HERE. 

When Will Daylight Saving Time Start in Idaho?

Since lawmakers haven’t made a decision about eliminating the time change completely, Idahoans should prepare to set their clocks ahead an hour beginning on Sunday, March 10 at 2 a.m. That's something to look forward to because on the day we're writing this sunset is at 5:56 p.m. It'll be 7:46 p.m. on March 10.

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