Explaining ‘Zulu’ Time on Weather Models

“The 18z NAM model is out and shows a lot of rain!”

Woah, Woah…. wait a minute. 18 “z” WHAT?

Zulu Time Zone is often used in aviation and the military as another name for UTC +0. Zulu Time Zone is also commonly used at sea between longitudes 7.5° West and 7.5° East. Zulu Time is also commonly used on weather models!

Time Conversion

Most global weather models run four times a day:
06z | overnight – 2:00 a.m. EDT
12z | morning – 8:00 a.m. EDT
18z | afternoon – 2:00 p.m. EDT
0z | evening – 8:00 p.m. EDT

Some websites show the time conversion in EST or EDT, however, some only show Zulu Time. Zulu time resets to 0z at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

Now you know what “Zulu” Time is in Eastern Time!

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