Gas prices rise after Arctic blast

Gas prices soar post Arctic blast

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The price of gas has continued to rise not only here on the Suncoast but also across the country. Just within the past week, a gallon of unleaded gas has risen over 12 cents and energy experts say gas prices will continue to rise as we head into the spring.

“It’s not great, I mean it kind of jumps 20 cents overnight. I have to drive a lot for work so I have to fill my gas a lot, so the raising of gas prices really hurts my wallet a bit,” Jasmine Savwoir, a Sarasota resident, explained.

According to AAA, the average price of unleaded gas nationwide is $2.64. Here in Florida, the state is close to that figure with this week’s average in both Manatee and Sarasota counties at around $2.61. Now, if that is hurting your wallet and you want to travel to the cheapest state - but that means you will have to make nearly an 800-mile trek to Mississippi where gas will run you about $2.29.

So, what’s behind the hike? Part of the reason is last week’s Arctic blast that took over much of the United States. This also halted gasoline production for a short period. Secondly, with spring break right around the corner, demand for gas also plays a factor.

“It’s like betting on the stock. We are heading into a time of year, the springtime when gas prices do typically increase,” said AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins. “That’s largely due to refinery maintenance season, refineries undergo their seasonal maintenance. They are also switching over to a summer gasoline blend that is a little more costly to produce.”

Jenkins says gas prices should remain steady for the next few weeks at around $2.64, he says but they could also increase up to $2.70 or even max out at $2.80.

You can save some time and money by using various gas discount programs or by clicking on the gas prices tab on our website.

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