What is GMT Time?

GMT time is the time in the GMT Time Zone. GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time. It’s named for the city Greenwich in the United Kindgom. It is also called Zero Meridian Time because it is the hour all other time zones are based off of. Other time zones are considered to be either ahead (+ hours) or behind (-hours) GMT.

In the military, GMT is called Zulu Time. This is because the military names time zones using letters, and GMT is military time zone Z. Zulu is the call sign for the letter Z. This also refers to the letter Z in “zero meridian time”. The number designation for this time zone is also 0.

GMT is siginifcant because it serves as a starting point for time zones. It’s essentially the time zone all others are based off of. You can find times anywhere by using the +/- designation for GMT beside a time stamp.

GMT is Time Zone 0

GMT Time is also referred to as zero time because it serves as this “central point” for all time zones. You may have seen time listed like this: 12:30:00 GMT+1. The +1 after GMT tells you that the time is one hour ahead of GMT time.

Time zones are numbered moving east and west from GMT in incremental numbers. 

East of GMT, time zones are “ahead” of GMT, because the sun rises sooner, and times are set an hour ahead of GMT (the zero meridian) to make up the difference.

The farther you move east of the GMT, the time zones fall one more hour ahead. Each time zone gets a + (plus) designation, incrementally, starting at 1 and ending at 12.

Example is, the first time zone east of GMT is GMT -1. it is one hour behind (-1) GMT. This time zone includes Paris, and other european and African countries. Move a time zone west of GMT and th etime is GMT +1. That’s one hour ahead of GMT.

West of GMT each time zone gets a – (negative) designation incrementally starting at -1. The farther you move east, the time zones fall one hour more behind GMT. That’s because the sun moves east to west, and times are later in the west.

For instance, eastern time in the US is GMT -5. It is five time zones west of GMT.

What are those Numbers Beside GMT in a Time?

The numbers beside GMT in a time stamp like GMT + 1 or GMT +2 refer to the number of hours behind or ahead any time zone is compared to GMT time.

So, if you are trying to find out what time it is in the GMT time zone, just take the time zone number designation of your time zone and add it to the current time.

Say your time zone is GMT+5, and it is 1 o’clock PM in your time zone. It will be 1:00 plus 5 hours in GMT, or 6:00 PM.

You can use this number to find the time in your time zone from any other time. Just add the difference between your time and the GMT time. Lets say the time is 12:00 GMT +2. Your time zone is GMT -5. Just find the difference between -5 and +2 or 2 – (-5) = 7. The time is 7 PM.

Learn how to find your time from GMT time.