Get ready for a seasonal spike at the pumps.
As many refineries slow production of gasoline in February as they conduct seasonal maintenance, gas prices are likely to rise in Maryland and across the country, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
"Winter weather, weak demand and sufficient supplies have kept gas prices relatively low recently, but this trend may not last much longer," said Ragina Cooper-Averella, a AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman, in a statement. "Filling up at the pump will be a lot more frustrating as prices increase this spring."
Prices aren't expected to rise as rapidly as they have in past years, but will likely increase to between $3.55 and $3.75 a gallon, AAA said.
"The expected springtime rise in gas prices likely will be temporary, but that will not make it any easier to pay $60 or more to fill up your car," Cooper-Averella said.
Last winter, the national average gas price rose 49 cents before peaking in late February at $3.79 per gallon. Gas prices rose 56 cents per gallon during a similar period in 2012 and 86 cents per gallon in 2011.
After the spring peak, gas prices will likely fall again, AAA said.
Overall, 2014 could be a better year than last, AAA said. The average 2014 price per gallon of gasoline could end up being 5 cents less than the 2013 average of $3.49, the group said.
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