For those who haven't checked the calendar- today is March 26. We're over a month away from what I believe will represent the peak of gasoline prices for 2012, lest anything happen geopolitically speaking that isn't currently on the radar.
The national average today stands at $3.87/gallon, just 24-cents away from the all time record high we hit in 2008, when prices hit $4.11 in mid-July. Yet this year, it's becoming more obvious that we have a good, or perhaps a high chance now of breaking that all time high.
Led by Chicago, and other areas of the Midwest, as well as perennial members such as California, Alaska, and Hawaii, we could see the average price in other areas also hit that $4/gallon barrier.
And while the national average could hit $4.11, that doesn't mean gas prices in your neighborhood will. In fact, if we have to make a list of losers, areas that will see the highest prices this summer, it would include every city in California, Chicago, Milwaukee, Alaska, Hawaii, a big chunk of the Big Apple and surrounding states (N.J. is just a maybe), as well as Florida, Oregon, and West Washington State.
The winners? Many places in the Rockies- Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, areas of Montana (away from Yellowstone), areas near the Gulf (with the exception of FL.) Prices in these areas may struggle to hit $4, or even close, thanks to their geographic location.
So if you're taking a vacation this summer, there's your roadmap for gas prices. Perhaps its time for a hiking trip to Yellowstone in a fuel efficient Chevy Cruze or a Ford Fusion? Speaking of which, I may have to test one of those out on a roadtrip and just see how affordable travel can be with such a car!