David Pardo—Victor Valley Daily Press/AP
By Kerry Close
February 26, 2016

The good times at California gas pumps might be coming to an abrupt halt.

In mid-February each year, refineries switch to a state-mandated blend that evaporates less quickly in warm weather. Because the summer blend is more expensive, fuel costs are expected to increase by about 30 cents across the state.

The most severe price hikes will be in southern California, where a 37-cent jump is predicted over the weekend, the San Jose Mercury News reported. In northern California, however, prices are “only” expected to rise by 10 to 20 cents per gallon.

California gas prices have plummeted lately, with refiners emptying their inventories of the winter blend they no longer need. As of Friday, the average gas price in the state was about $2.34. That’s 31 cents cheaper than the same time last month, and 76 cents less than a year ago, according to AAA.

An oversupply of fuel has caused gas prices nationwide to fall nationwide, with the biggest dips seen in the Midwest. The average national price is about $1.73, down 10 cents from a month ago, according to AAA.

Due to the costs associated with producing more environmentally-friendly gas, residents of the Golden State routinely face some of the highest fuel costs in the nation. The silver lining is that Californians will face a slight price break in July, when the state will do away with its excise tax. The result is that drivers can expect to pay 2.2 cents less for a gallon of gas.

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