Gas prices jump with ‘expected volatility’

Gas prices had a midweek surge and a slight weekend decline.

Gasoline prices showed what those in the industry call expected volatility, jumping 10 cents per gallon in midweek, then sliding a bit over the weekend to $2.41 per gallon on Sunday, up eight cents since last Monday, according to AAA — The Auto Club Group.

The Sunday price was the highest in two weeks but still well below the highest price of $2.56 per gallon seen thus far this year.

The low point price for Florida this year was $2.32 per gallon.

“Although gas prices are declining again, drivers should expect continued volatility at the pump in the coming months,” Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA — The Auto Club Group, stated in a news release. “Refineries are entering spring maintenance season, where they conduct seasonal maintenance and switch to a more expensive summer gasoline – as required by the EPA. This work can lead to reduced refinery output at a time when driving demand increases for spring break. In recent years, the imbalance of springtime supply and demand led to price hikes of 20-60 cents, which was spread out over the course of a few months.”

By Sunday the cheapest gas in Florida was found in Pensacola, where drivers were paying $2.33 per gallon; Orlando, $2.37; Crestview-Fort Walton Beach, $2. 37; and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, $2.38 per gallon.

The most expensive gasoline was running $2.54 a gallon in West Palm Beach, $2.45 in Miami, and $2.45 in Gainesville.

Nationally the average price for a gallon of gasoline was $2.47.

Elsewhere in Florida, on Monday, the average prices in various Florida locations included Jacksonville, where gas cost $2.37 per gallon; Fort Myers, $2.38; Tallahassee, $2.38; Sarasota, $2.41; Naples, $2.43; Fort Lauderdale, $2.44; Gainesville, $2.45; and Monroe County, $2.50.

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at Every day up to 130,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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