(WKBN) — You may have noticed gas prices jump in Ohio after the winter storm Christmas weekend, and you may be wondering: Did the weather have anything to do with it?
Just a week before the Valley was impacted by frigid temperatures and blowing snow, Ohio’s average gas price was $2.88, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Currently in Boardman, gas prices are around $3.36 — nearly a 40-cent jump.
Jim Garrity with AAA East Central says the cold weather could have damaged oil refineries.
“That frigid cold did cause gas prices to spike, with refineries in Texas and the Gulf Coast shutting down,” Garrity says.
Holiday travel was also a factor with supply and demand.
Garrity also says Ohio gas prices are known to change frequently.
In Pennsylvania — the state with the highest gas tax — gas prices only jumped 4 cents after the winter storm.
“Pennsylvania [is] where you have more consistency in gas stations throughout the state due to more corporate ownership and more large chains that are spread out across the state,” Garrity says.
Mercer County in Pennsylvania has one of the highest average gas prices in the state, according to AAA.
But, Garrity says a drop in gas prices could be coming as crude oil prices are lower.
“Demand this time of year typically drops. People aren’t taking their summer road trips. People are headed back to work and schools. And also, we’ve been consuming winter blend gasoline, which is less expensive gasoline than summer blend gasoline,” Garrity says. “All the factors are in place for prices to come down and remain lower.”
However, Garrity advises people to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances that could affect gas prices.
“When the pandemic hit, before the Russia/Ukraine situation, we wouldn’t have expected that would have had as much of an impact on oil as it did in light of those record high gas prices,” Garrity says.