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What We Can Expect at the Pumps This Fall


The direct hit that Hurricane Harvey took on the Texas Gulf Coast in August sent gas prices soaring as this refinery-rich area shut down due to the storm’s rain, winds and flooding. The national average jumped 25 cents in a week’s time – the largest weekly rise since 2005.

Supply and distribution were slow to recover as the refineries came back online after the sting of this storm. Followed quickly by a massive evacuation of Florida residents anticipating the dangerous Hurricane Irma, supply chains were on their heels which kept prices high.

So now what can we anticipate for gas prices?

Many of you are paying an average of 40 cents more than you were prior to August 25th with the nationwide average being $2.59. That average peaked on September 7th to $2.67 but be assured that relief is on its way.

National gasoline prices will trend lower and the downward movement will accelerate in the coming days as supply and demand tilt back towards a normal balance after Harvey’s shutdowns caused more gasoline to be consumed than produced.

Another factor in the decrease of gasoline prices is less seasonal demand as we enter the autumn months combined with the switch to winter-blend gasoline. In some areas, the switch has already occurred due to waivers granted after Harvey but overall this will add to the downward pressure on gas prices in the days ahead.

The good news is that you can expect lower gas prices in the upcoming weeks. The bad news? They are some of the most expensive autumn prices since 2015.

In the meantime, you can research the lowest prices in your area as they are fluctuating daily. The Price Spread in the GasBuddy app will give you valuable information you need on what the price differential is before you pull up to the pump. If you are looking for even more relief at the pump, get the Pay with GasBuddy card. You’ll never pay full price again! Sign up is free, you’ll save 5c/gallon and it’s accepted at stations nationwide.

Head of Petroleum Analysis (USA)

Patrick has developed into the leading source for reliable and accurate information on gas price hikes. Patrick has been interviewed as a gasoline price expert hundreds of times since 2004. Based in Chicago, Patrick brings to GasBuddy all his assets to help consumers by giving reliable and accurate price forecasts, including the San Jose Mercury News dubbing Patrick "one of the nation's most accurate forecasters" in 2012.