Why Do The Clocks Go Backwards In Autumn?

October 19, 2015

Why Do The Clocks Go Backwards In Autumn?

1 minute read

This weekend the clocks go backwards, which will mean that sunrise and sunset will be an hour earlier, and the evenings will be darker. Darker evenings doesn't sound very desirable, though, so why do we do it? It’s not just to deprive us of an hour of sleep in spring, or to let us experience a 25-hour day in autumn. The concept of daylight savings time actually has very practical roots.

The idea of changing the clocks was first proposed by astronomer George Vernon Hudson in 1895. He wanted to align the working hours of the day with the available light as the seasons changed, and proposed moving the clocks by two hours. 

Years later in 1905, a similar idea was proposed by British Builder William Willett, who suggested moving the clocks forward 20 minutes each weekend in April, and moving them back by 20 minutes each weekend in September. A recipe for disaster in our view! But it wasn't until 1916 that Daylight Savings Time was actually instated in the UK.

Britain followed the example of Germany, who wanted to save fuel during the First World War. By making better use of available daytime, less fuel was be used for artificial lighting and resources could be diverted elsewhere. Interestingly, many countries abandoned daylight saving after the war ended, but it was quickly reinstated when the Second World War came along.

You’ll no doubt be watching the changing seasons on your weather station, but the drawbacks of modern technology are no more noticeable than when you wake up after the clocks have changed, not knowing if your devices have updated themselves or not. How to change the time on a weather station is one of the questions we often get asked here at ClimeMET HQ so we've put together a simple step-by-step guide for changing the clock on your weather station, which you can read here.