Drivers should expect gas prices to climb even higher in the coming days as the country is slammed by extreme cold weather, predicted GasBuddy, an app company that tracks gas prices. Prices had already been steadily rising since fall.
GasBuddy projected the national gas price average to rise to $2.65 to $2.75 per gallon over the next two weeks. As of Wednesday morning, the national average gas price was $2.54 per gallon, according to AAA. West Virginia’s average gas price Wednesday closely reflected the U.S. average at $2.55 per gallon.
AAA said in a Tuesday news release that gas prices are expected to soon top last year’s highest national average, which peaked at $2.58 per gallon.
AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano McGee said in the news release this year’s rising prices are not being driven by demand. “Crude ... has been the main factor driving gas price increases this year," she said.
The cold snap and storms hitting much of the country is expected to further drive up prices.
“The national average price of gasoline may jump 10-20 cents per gallon ... over the next two weeks,” GasBuddy said in its news release, “as millions of barrels of refining capacity has gone offline due to the extreme cold in the South, with little relief on the horizon as overall gasoline demand continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Looking further into the future, GasBuddy also predicted prices to approach $3 per gallon around Memorial Day. However, AAA projects prices may not quite get that high.
“In order for prices to be that expensive again this spring or summer, AAA believes that a major spike in demand, returning to normal peak driving season levels, and crude sustaining at very high prices will be required," the company’s news release said.