Florida avoided the annual Memorial Day Weekend bump in gas prices, yet the price of a gallon remained high going into the summer of 2021, compared with the past couple of summers.
Gas prices across the Sunshine State averaged just under $2.87 per gallon on Memorial Day, according to AAA — The Auto Club Group.
That’s essentially what prices were averaging a week earlier.
Panama City drivers saw the highest gas prices, averaging $3.04 per gallon on Memorial Day. Punta Gorda drivers had the lowest prices, averaging $2.78, according to AAA.
Florida’s average price is almost a dollar more per gallon than what Floridians were paying on Memorial Day, 2020, when travel was essentially canceled due to the height of the spring coronavirus crisis. People weren’t driving much and demand for gasoline collapsed. So did prices.
Still, going back a little further, the $2.86 average in Florida was significantly higher than the June average of $2.53 in 2019 and $2.77 in 2018.
Pump prices are 66 cents per gallon more than what drivers paid at the beginning of the year, as gasoline demand recovers from the pandemic, AAA reported Tuesday. However, the state average remains 4 cents less than this year’s highest daily average price of $2.91 per gallon, which was recorded in late March.
“Gas prices are relatively stagnant as we enter the start of the busy summer driving season,” AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins stated in a news release. “Although pump prices normally increase in the spring and decline in the fall, summertime gas prices are often volatile and unpredictable. One big reason for that is hurricane season. If a hurricane strikes the Gulf Coast refinery region, pump prices can rise due to concerns about gasoline supplies.”
Around the state Tuesday morning, Orlando saw an average of $2.78; St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Jacksonville, $2.80; Fort Myers, $2.81; Naples, $2.87; Gainesville and Miami, $2.89; Fort Lauderdale, $2.90; Palm Beach $2.99; Tallahassee, $2.94; and Pensacola, $2.96.