(AP/WGRZ) The average price for a gallon of gasoline across the U.S. is up to $3.67 a gallon, but it's even higher in Western New York.
That's an increase of 12 cents in the past week and 42 cents in the past month.
According to the Associated Press, Oil analyst Patrick DeHaan, with GasBuddy.com, says the reasonfor the spike is the rising price of oil.
DeHaan says he's surprised to see the price jump so high in February when demand is normally low, and he's now concerned about what might happen next month.
DeHaan explains, "traditionally gas prices rise anywhere from 40 to 60 cents a gallon in late March through early May." He says if that happens this year "it will easily send the national average over $4.00 a gallon."
According to gasbuddy.com, the current average gas price in New York State is: $3.96. In WNY, it is $3.93. That's up almost 25 cents from January, and it is also up from a year ago, when we were paying $3.83. And it shows no signs of slowing down.
We're now seeing $4.00 gas locally. One station is charging $4.09 for a gallon of regular in downtown Buffalo. Even in the suburbs, where gas is cheaper, prices are still up big time.
Last year, Western New York gas prices peaked at $4.12 for a gallon of regular. This year, drivers are worried we're on pace to surpass that.
"That's a tough question to answer," said AAA Spokesperson Steve Pacer. "AAA, nationally, is predicting that the average will be lower than last year when it hits its peak, and also it will happen sooner."
That means that Western new York could hit its peak price in March this year, assuming prices do not continue to climb into April.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.