GasBuddy Heat Map
Evaluating last week's prediction for this week, I said "By next Tuesday (because of the holiday), I expect the national average to be $3.01/gallon, while prices in Canada will move slower, averaging 109.9c/L." Taking a look this morning, the average is $3.04 for the U.S. and 110.5c/L in Canada. I'll call that a "close" prediction.

Well, as many knew and expected, we did indeed set a new record price on Christmas- $3.01, the highest we've ever seen on Christmas Day. In 2007 when prices began their ascent to $4+/gal, prices were just under $3/gal, so to start off 2011 with prices that will be over $3.05 will be rough.

We're also seeing the national average in the U.S. as several Midwest states see price increases to record highs for this time of year- $3.19. Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky are now seeing such prices at a majority of pumps, thanks to Speedway.

Utah is currently enjoying the lowest prices in North America, coming in at an average of just $2.72. Utah motorists are getting the last laugh as their prices had held much higher than the national average for a majority of 2010.

For this week, we've seen oil prices hold steady (so far) with wholesale gasoline costs dropping. Prices will slowly drop back to slightly over $3 in MI, OH, IN, and KY as the week goes on, but a majority of the U.S. and Canada will continue to see prices rise.

By next Monday, I forecast the national average in the U.S. to rise to $3.06 per gallon, while Canada prices will average 111.2c/L.