National average for gas hits 3-year high; SWFL lagging for now

Gas Prices Rise 3.5 Cents In Chattanooga

The possibility of USA sanctions against Iran and another sponsor of the Syrian government, Russia, is driving up the price of crude oil, which increased by more than $5 last week.

February predictions of $4-a-gallon gasoline in California by Memorial Day stalled a bit in March, but prices are climbing again, and not just in California.

Gas prices all around the country are on the rise as well, as the national average saw an increase by 2.2 cents per gallon last week, bringing the nation to an average of $2.73 per gallon.

The current gas average in Virginia is $2.53, which is the highest gas has been in the commonwealth since the summer of 2015. Despite the increase, SC still ranks among the least expensive states for gas prices in the country.

On Monday, national gas price tracker GasBuddy.com put the average retail price of gas in California at $3.54 a gallon, up 17 cents from a month ago and a almost 54-cent increase over previous year. "With the transition to summer gasoline also wrapping up, the reasons causing gas prices to rise will shrink". With Baker Hughes, Inc. reporting that the USA added seven oil rigs last week - bringing the total to 815.

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One bright spot: The average cost of unleaded regular gas in Citrus County and the Tampa Bay region is $2.54 per gallon, the lowest so far in the state.

But Milani says in addition to the usual spring bump in fuel prices, a steep rise in crude oil prices will also begin impacting the prices you see at the pump.

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for gas price comparison site GasBuddy.com, said that's the highest national average price since July 2015.

Nationally, gas prices are expected to continue to climb over the coming months, AAA Tidewater said. However, we're likely in the closing innings of the seasonal rise - let's just hope we don't go to extra innings.

"In the past few years, the average date that gas prices have peaked is mid-May, which is just around the corner, and by all metrics, that could be very close to what we expect this time around", DeHaan said.

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