Although they’ve been on the rise for the past two weeks, gas prices are at levels that haven’t been seen in over a decade heading into Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest driving weekends of the year.
Gas prices on Monday averaged $2.28 nationally, according to AAA, up six cents from the previous week and 15 cents from the previous month. Prices have increased every day for the past 12 days, reaching their highest level in 2016.
Despite the recent rise, drivers are poised to pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2005, according to AAA. Nearly 34 million Americans, 39 percent of those with travel plans, intend to drive to their Memorial Day destinations this year, up 2.1 percent this year.
Even in the country’s most expensive gas markets, prices remain below $3. Drivers in California are spending the most on gas (an average of $2.80 per gallon), but they’ve also seen the biggest decline in prices at the pump. Surplus inventory on the West Coast has led to California gas prices falling by 97 cents year over year.
Drivers on the Gulf Coast enjoy some of the lowest prices in the nation, with Mississippians paying the least ($2.05 per gallon). Six of the 10 least expensive markets are also in the Gulf Coast, despite a slight uptick in prices this week following refinery maintenance.
Prices in the Midwest are also on the rise, following delivery disruption due to fires in the Canadian oil sands.